SFCA Art Exhibition 2023: A Sustainable Future

In a year when cost pressures are becoming increasingly acute, and when more young people are being forced into more severe poverty, and at a time when the impact of climate change is increasingly clear, while global society’s capacity and will to tackle the problem are insufficient even to meet the 1.5 degree target, the connection between money and sustainability has been brought into stark relief. The need to resource properly a climate change strategy conflicts with the need to manage national debt and economic growth at a macro level, and to pay domestic energy and food bills at an individual level. Difficult choices face us, and sustainability rarely emerges as the top priority.

This exhibition is a clarion call to us all to engage in the climate and sustainability agenda.

This dilemma preoccupies young people, as they consider their future lives, careers, prospects and planet, and they need a voice. As in every summer for the last six years, the Sixth Form College National Art Exhibition offers a platform for talented young artists to express themselves through their art, and to communicate their concerns, hopes and beliefs.

In a year when the government’s latest figures show a marked decline in the numbers of students choosing to study A Level arts subjects – entries to art and design are down 2.8%; drama entries fell 6.7%; music entries dropped 6.8% - it is critically important to reinforce the message that arts matter. Not just because the creative industries make such an enormous contribution to the national economy, not just because so many people work in one of them, but because to develop one’s artistic sensitivities, one’s ability to communicate, one’s creative thinking, is to build the foundation for being a better citizen and to make a better contribution to the world as an adult. 

This exhibition serves to promote the arts and to showcase the relationship between artistic endeavour and the big issues of the day.

Sixth form colleges have the capacity and flexibility, because of their size and their specialist expertise, to keep the arts flourishing where smaller providers might struggle. Their culture, akin to a university campus culture, and their expectations of high standards, independent learning and self-regulation, make them ideally suited to nurturing artistic sensitivities, developing talent and creativity and mapping a planned pathway to life as a successful player in a creative world.

This exhibition is a platform for the talented young people in sixth form colleges, which represent a secure pipeline of professional artists, who will inspire us and bring us joy for many years to come.

Following the global impact of this exhibition in recent years, with interest shown in South America, North America, Scandinavia and across Western Europe, we are delighted to include works, this year, from young people in Sweden*, who have been working alongside their counterparts in England, in an example of planned international co-operation, reinforcing a message that matters.

This exhibition shows that art and human passions transcend global frontiers.

Pengar! – Money! in Swedish - is an exhibition, digital platform and sustainability fund created by over 600 Swedish youths aged 14-26. They have explored how the dynamics of money, finance and sustainability are connected, in the past, the present and the future. The detrimental effect our relationship with money has on human systems, our planet and all living beings is becoming crystal clear. Money is a tool – abundance or lack of it orchestrates our dreams and aspiration, as well as our fears and nightmares. Ultimately it affects our future. 

Pengar! is a project that calls for actionto use money with discernment and wisdom, in service of all living beings and our planet. The works presented here are a few samples of the over 600 films, paintings, music and podcasts on Pengar!’s digital platform. Pengar! is a collaboration between the Workers' Museum in Norrköping and the nonprofit organization HUPAX - Human Peace and Sustainability.

Supported by:

Screenshot 2022 06 13 at 09.32.58

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