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Westway Trust launches £10,000 air pollution art competition

The Westway Trust, who manage 23 acres of land that sits beneath the Westway flyover in west London, have launched an initiative titled ‘Every Breath We Take’ to raise awareness of the issue of air pollution in the area and to inspire change ‘through community engagement, artistic expression, and education.’

The focal point of the launch is an art competition, in which , artists of all ages and backgrounds are invited to participate. The organisers describe the competition as showcasing art ‘which tells the story of the urban spaces our communities occupy. Where a vibrant, living, breathing community co-exists in the shadow of the imposing Westway structure.’

The competition is divided into three categories and has a total prize pool of £10,000 and entries are now being accepted.

Open Category
Artists are encouraged to unleash their creativity using any medium—paintings, drawings, sketches, sculptures, performances, multimedia, and more.
Prizes: Best National Artist: £2,000; Best Local Artist: £2,000

Youth Category
Open to artists aged 5 to 18 years.
Prizes: Four winners will each receive £500.

Street Art Category
Artists are invited to submit proposals for public art installations at twenty sites across the Westway Trust estate in North Kensington.
Entries in this category will be treated as commissions. Selected artists will be paid for their time and reimbursed for their expenses.
Prizes: Best National Artist: £2,000; Best Local Artist: £2,000

The deadline for expressions of Interest is 1st May, 2024.
An exhibition of the work will take place on the Westway estate in North Kensington between: 27th May and 7th June.

Venu Dhupa, CEO of the Westway Trust, explains why the message of the campaign is so relevant for the North Kensington community: ‘Good quality air is key to our health. The air in parts of London often falls below the quality threshold we would expect, especially in areas close to key road infrastructure. The traffic on the Westway affects the lives of the communities of North Kensington, as do the many building projects currently in the area.

‘We want to raise awareness of this and whilst not holding back progress, we want to encourage communities to advocate aspirations for a cleaner environment in the future. We also want to lend voice to other campaigns because change is more likely if we work together.’

Duncan Higgins is Professor of Visual Art, Director of the Centre for Artistic Research at Nottingham Trent University, and Professor of Fine Art at University of Bergen, Norway. He explains why he has got involved as one of the competition’s judges: ‘Art plays such a crucial role in our modern society by allowing us to express emotions, stimulate critical thinking, and cultural reflection.

‘It serves as a powerful tool for communication, storytelling and reflection in shaping our culture and helping us make sense of the world around us. It has the ability to provoke thought and inspire change, making it an essential part of our everyday lives. “Every Breath We Take” creates an important opportunity for such dialogue to be created at Westway.’

For more information, and to submit expressions of interest for the art competition, visit www.everybreathwetake.london

 

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