Educators’ Retreat 2024: Climate Conscious Arts Learning

Teacher CPD

In February,  educators from a range of settings and roles gathered for our two-day Educators’ Retreat at Old Diorama Arts Centre.

Bow Arts Educators’ Retreat 2024 prompted discussions around the value of the visual arts as a tool of addressing the complexity of climate issues and environmental justice when working with children and young people. How can we, as creative educators, consider adjustments to our practice that can make a positive impact inside and outside the classroom? 

Over the two days, artist educators gained insights from Guest Speakers and researchers Andy Belfield and Beatriz Lobo Britto, and Bow Arts artist educators Yuliya Krylova, Sadegh  Aleahmad, Hernan Guardamagna and Cecily Loveys Jervoise. 

Guest Speaker: Beatriz Lobo Britto 

Image credits: Emily-Jayne Nolan

Curator, museologist, researcher and climate justice advocate Beatriz Lobo Britto, joined us to share her experience of working with young people across the topics of land justice and land preservation, colonialism and indigenous rights. She shared examples of her work with young people facilitating activities that build critical thinking required to make their own informed choices. The talk culminated in an insightful Q&A with participants eager to hear more! 

‘Learning about Beatriz’s work and practice with climate active work in schools was incredibly interesting and useful for my practice” 


Yuliya Krylova: Repurposing Materials  

Bow Arts artist educator Yuliya Krylova guided participants through different textures and detailing within textiles that can be used to bring to life new fashion or sculptural projects. The workshop repurposed environmentally friendly materials to discover unexpected combinations such as canvas, plastic bags and bike tyres.  

Sadegh Aleahmad: Challenging Sculptural Perceptions 

In the room next door, Sadegh Aleahmad  ran a playful workshop on challenging sculptural perceptions. Participants interacted with found objects in a series of individual and group games. The workshop encouraged performative methods of creating sculpture, as well as playing with light, casting shadows, drawing and collaboration to explore questions of how we can utilise sculptural materials and processes, to consider permanence and the rethinking of objects beyond their original purpose. 

Guest Speaker: Andy Belfield 

Day 2 kicked off with Guest Speaker Andy Belfield, highlighting the importance of maintaining hope and encouraging young people to be hopeful, during an immensely critical time for the environment. The talk touched upon ways that educators can overcome barriers in educational settings and prompted the significance of strengthening community networks as a mode of resistance. 

Hernan Guardamagna: Build a Shoe with Recycled Materials 

Footwear designer and maker Hernan Guardamagna led participants through the different processes of designing and building a shoe prototype with recycled materials such as cardboard, food packaging, fabric, foam blocks, and egg cartons, to name a few!  

“As a sculptor, making the shoe out of recycled materials is making me think about sculpture in different ways.”


 Cecily Loveys Jervoise: Circular Ways of Working with Clay 

Cecily Loveys Jervoise invited workshop participants to think about circular ways of working, with tips on lowering the environmental impact of creative projects through conscientious sourcing. By using raw and natural materials such as locally sourced clay and natural dyes, participants were encouraged to reconsider the origins and story behind the materials they use. 

Both days also made space for social and professional networking, alongside snacks and drinks, where artist educators got the chance to get to know a bit more about one another. 

“Having the experiences of participating in workshops by fellow artist educators was inspiring and educative, as well as attending the relevant talks in the morning which left me with some bigger ideas to think about in the longer term.” 


Bow Arts facilitates an annual free two-day programme for artist educators, and creative education practitioners from a range of settings. 

Want to find out more? Check out our blog about a previous rendition of the retreat.