On 24 January 2018, Primary Education Studies students from Anglia Ruskin University, PGCE students from Cambridge University, and local primary school teachers came together for a day of learning around how to embed Sustainability into learning and teaching. Two students from the MA Children's Book Illustration course captured keynotes and workshops through a series of wonderful illustrations. Hannah, one of the illustrators, shares some of her thoughts about the day.
Farah and I recorded the Making Connections conference through live drawing, using inks and watercolour. We sat in on the keynote speaker sessions and observed different workshops which were happening simultaneously, using line and colour to capture the main ideas and liveliness of the event.
From an illustrator’s point of view, sketching at a conference can add an extra dimension to how the day is remembered. When drawing live, you watch people’s facial expressions, noticing where there is enthusiasm, deep concentration and when they are challenged by new ideas. Colour and tone can express different moods. Visual details, such as people taking off their shoes and revealing their stripy socks in the drama workshop, show the human side of attending a conference.
The programme integrated theory and action, from Richard Dunne sharing how sustainability had become part of daily school life in Ashley Church of England Primary School, to taking a silent walk with Dr Elsa Lee to Mill Road cemetery, and thinking about how to encourage school children to engage with their local area. Walking along the busy pavement, we noticed moss and other small plants growing between the cracks. The drama workshop with Dr Joel Chalfen included active group exercises, such as body sculpting to make shapes as a basis for further conversation on sustainability-related themes.
A core idea which threaded throughout the day was that sustainability is in harmony with education as a whole, across subject areas. An example of the fields of art, creative writing and sustainability education working together was a beautiful book of paintings and poems presented by Dr Robert Macfarlane, which he created in collaboration with the artist Jackie Morris. The Lost Words: A Spell Book (2017) immerses children and adults in the magic of the natural world
I enjoyed drawing alongside Farah to capture our angles on the day, and the conference gave me insights into how illustration can contribute to the field of sustainability education.
Hannah Moshtael, illustrator and graduate of MA Children’s Book Illustration
www.hannahmoshtael.com; Instagram: @hannahmoshtael