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AUDIO: Young Harrogate artists in running for prestigious prize

AUDIO: Young Harrogate artists in running for prestigious prize

Published at 6:20pm 12th February 2016. (Updated at 6:35pm 12th February 2016)

Oatlands Junior School in Harrogate has been shortlisted for the 2016 Saatchi Gallery/Deutsche Bank Art Prize for Schools.

It's a competition which has received over 22,000 entries from 54 countries.

The clay installation submitted by Oatlands, called 'Conserving Our Biodiversity', involved all 300 children.

It will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London, with a special award ceremony to announce the winners on 3 March.

As part of the 'Conserving Our Biodiversity' project, every pupil at Oatlands creating a clay sculpture.

Specialist art teacher Sam Joseph said: "I was incredibly thrilled to hear the news, so much so, I screamed and jumped into the air! This project looked at the fragility of our biodiversity. It was moving to teach and see this project evolve.

"Every child at Oatlands wanted to show the forms and details of their wild plant or flower from the Red Data List of the British Isles, to show what could be lost forever. To see the installation of 300 sculptures assembled was a moment I will never forget.

"I was overwhelmed by the cumulative beauty of each piece carefully sculpted by children who in a piece of clay wanted to say something about the world they live in.

"Art stands out as a subject where children confidently and creatively can express who they are without fear of failure and the children really appreciate that."

Headteacher Jill Cooper added: "The whole school is buzzing with excitement and pride. Seeing our whole school art installation in the Saatchi Gallery is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"We are so thankful to our art teacher, Sam Joseph, for having had the vision and so very proud of our children for rising to the challenge."

Some of the children have been telling Stray FM about their special project:

You can see their competition entry here.

Oatlands Junior School art

Ella, Jack, Euan and Jasmine with one of their many pieces of artwork