Hundreds of UK museums join with artists and environmentalists for The Wild Escape

A school workshop pilot run by Derby Museum and Art Gallery as part of The Wild Escape
A school workshop pilot run by Derby Museum and Art Gallery as part of The Wild Escape

Art Fund have today launched The Wild Escape, the largest ever collaboration between the UK’s museums. Supported by Arts Council England, the project aims to inspire hundreds of thousands of children to visit museums and respond creatively to the threat to the UK’s natural environment by looking for animals featured in museum collections and creating their own wildlife artworks.

The children’s animals will be brought to life in a newly imagined epic artwork, created by leading immersive games studio, Preloaded, to be unveiled on Earth Day 2023, Saturday 22 April.

Led by Art Fund, the project will bring together 500 museums across the country in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the National Trust and English Heritage, along with world-leading artists and environmentalists. It is one of the largest museum projects ever funded by Arts Council England. 

The Wild Escape is inspired by the BBC’s major forthcoming 'Wild Isles' series, presented by Sir David Attenborough. It is in partnership with BBC Bitesize, the free study resource for children, which will host films showing an artist making a work inspired by animals in the nation’s museum collections.  

The Wild Escape is open to every primary school age child to take part whether in class, through a visit to their local museum or online, from now to July. Hundreds of museums, galleries, and historic houses will host special activities for families connecting to the environment and biodiversity. It will create a new relationship between museums and the natural world aiming to shape the lives of the children who participate. 

Many leading artists are also taking part, including Es Devlin, Andy Holden, Chila Kumari Burman, Heather Phillipson, Thomas J Price, Mollie Ray, Yinka Shonibare, Tai Shani, FKA Twigs, Claire Twomey, and Mark Wallinger. 

Jenny Waldman, Director, Art Fund, said: 'The Wild Escape aims to change children’s awareness and understanding of biodiversity loss. By being at the centre of a co-created epic-scale digital artwork, and thanks to the support of Arts Council England, the Wild Escape will show how the UK’s museums can encourage new forms of creativity, encouraging children to take ownership of one of the defining challenges of our lives. The risk to our precious wildlife. 

'The Wild Escape is a first. We want to show how museums, by working together can bring a fresh angle to learning, especially to welcome children’s creative responses to our great collections. We want every child to learn from and enjoy what museums can offer whilst at the same time drawing attention to the threat of biodiversity loss in this country, one of the defining challenges of our lives.'

More information about The Wild Escape, including listings of events taking place at museums across the UK, is available here

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