National Museums NI join RSPB NI’s final call for artists to put nature in the frame

Sarah Hamilton Cardy

Thursday 22 July 2021

National Museums NI in partnership with Urban Scale Interventions have joined TEDxStormont to support RSPB NI as it calls for aspiring artists to put nature in the frame this summer.

This is the final call for the competition, which builds on the idea of activist art, a term used to describe art that is grounded in the act of ‘doing’ to address political or social issues, and aims to show those in power why they should address the nature and climate emergency before it’s too late.  
The winners in each category will not only be crowned Artist of the Year by the prestigious panel, including renowned artist Colin Davidson, the winning artwork will also be displayed in an exhibition at Banana Block – an exciting new collaborative project from National Museums NI, Urban Scale Interventions and Portview Trade Centre. 
The artwork will then take centre stage at TEDxStormont Countdown in November to coincide with the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). 
Mike Simms, Senior Curator of Natural Sciences, National Museums NI, who will be joining the prestigious judging panel, alongside Colin, TEDxStormont’s Eva Grossman and RSPB NI’s Joanne Sherwood, commented, “I’m delighted to be joining the panel. The nature and climate emergency is the defining issue of our time and we need to address it. Whether you're a complete beginner, budding artist or have a wealth of experience, we want you to use your skills to illustrate the nature rich and climate safe future you want for Northern Ireland. I can’t wait to see the entries.” 

Sara McCracken, RSPB NI’s Head of Fundraising and Communications added, “Whether its cities with lots of green spaces, restored peatlands or more birds in the sky, we want to see your hopes for the future. Throughout history some of the biggest changes have been brought about by a small group of passionate people, from civil rights to votes for women, including the start of the RSPB itself. Over the years, artists have explored and documented history and politics to huge effect, this is your chance to have your say and we’ll aim to make sure decision makers see it.”  

There are no restrictions on the type of artwork, it can be anything from photography and painting to ceramics or even crochet. The competition is split into four categories under 8s, ages 8-11, 12-17 and over 18. Please email a photo of your artwork to with the heading ‘Canvasing for Nature Competition’, and tell us your entry details (name, age, contact telephone number) by 30th July 2021.

RSPB NI works to protect precious species and habitats across Northern Ireland and is campaigning for targets in law to save nature through its Revive Our World campaign. For more information on the competition, visit  

Last Updated: Thursday 22 July 2021

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