Giant jellyfish take over Southside as Single Use Planet exhibition opens 

Published: Wednesday, April 19, 2023

  • Collaborative project sees children from more than 30 schools work with a professional artist to explore single use plastics   
  • Part of the council’s work to become more sustainable   
  • Public can view their artwork at Southside Shopping Centre until May 5 

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Judi Gasser, Blake C Joshua, the Mayor and some of the young artists at the launch of the exhibition

Shoppers at Southside in Wandsworth can view giant jellyfish created out of discarded plastic by local schoolchildren from now until May 5. 

Single Use Planet: A collaborative art exhibition features work created by hundreds of year 4 and 5 pupils from more than 50 primary classes. 

Workshops led by the artist Blake C Joshua introduced students to ideas around climate change and how plastic effects our oceans, and encouraged them to look at plastics and waste as material from which they can create something new, rather than it being thrown away. 

The project is part of Wandsworth Council’s work to engage with young people around climate change and make the borough more sustainable. It was facilitated by the council and the Royal College of Art in partnership with Kids against Plastic and hosted by Southside Shopping Centre.   

The exhibition was opened by the Mayor of Wandsworth, Jeremy Ambache

Each class has created a jellyfish made entirely from single use plastics, which will be suspended together in a public part of the Southside near the cinema. The schools will each keep their own jellyfish after the public exhibition.     

Blake C Joshua said: “Designing the curriculum for this exhibition and working with local Wandsworth Primary Schools has been such a tremendous opportunity. Single use plastics are often an out of sight out of mind topic, they are all around us but what happens at the end of their lifecycle? Where does it go? What are the repercussions? I wanted to create an open dialogue and highlight these questions with practical craft-based activities.” 

Judi Gasser, cabinet member for the environment, gave a speech at the official opening this week, which was also attended by students, teachers, Blake C Joshua, the Mayor of Wandsworth and senior council members and officers. 

She said: “We want to take everyone on our journey to tackle climate change and make Wandsworth more sustainable. Engaging with children is crucial and this is an imaginative and fun way to get the message across about the need to reduce single use plastic.” 

The free exhibition is open to the public until May 5, and everyone is welcome to go along to take a look and take part in creative activities