Open Call: Wildlife Trusts Diving Bursary

Deadline: Friday 26 February 2016.

The Wildlife Trusts and The Society of Wildlife Artists fund an Undersea Art Award which pays for an established artist to learn to dive and then to work underwater off the UK coast, recording the wildlife of the sea. Applications for the 2016 award are now open! The winning artist will show their marine-inspired art at the SWLA’s annual exhibition, The Natural Eye, in the Mall Galleries.

Now in its seventh year, the Undersea Art Award has inspired stunning works which show the beauty and diversity of sea life around the UK coast; they range in style from paintings to sculpture. Artists with a sense of adventure have until Friday 26th February 2016 to apply.

Head of Living Seas at The Wildlife Trusts, Joan Edwards, says: “The Undersea Art Award funds diving lessons for artists with a passion for nature who want to find out more about the astonishingly varied submerged landscapes around UK shores. The idea is to create art inspired by the creatures which live in our wonderful cold water coral beds, sponge meadows, canyons and sandbanks.”

Previous winner of the award and President of the Society of Wildlife Artists, Harriet Mead, says: “The Wildlife Trusts’ Undersea Art Award is a tremendous opportunity to see the extraordinary life beneath the waves. Our marine habitat is an environment which few people have the chance to experience so not only did the diving inspire my work it has also made me determined to spread the word about the precious world that surrounds the UK coastline. I was lucky enough to receive this award myself and I can’t recommend it too highly – I strongly urge other artists to apply!”

The Undersea Art Award was founded to highlight the urgent need for Marine Conservation Zones – a type of protected area at sea where human activity is restricted to protect wildlife and habitats. The Government is creating these zones in the seas around England, following the passing of the Marine & Coastal Access Act (2009). These protected areas will allow sustainable use of the sea whilst protecting a range of species and habitats found in English waters from damaging activity.

Visit the website for details: http://www.wildlifetrusts.org/undersea-art-award

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