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Arts University Plymouth champions creativity in Inclusive Innovation Competition

Participants aged 9 to 14 were asked to create ideas designed to reduce barriers and promote inclusivity
<p dir="ltr">Arts University Plymouth has played host to the Inclusive Innovation Competition, an initiative to encourage participants from the Young Arts Club and Pre-Degree programmes at the University to develop creative ideas supporting inclusion.<br /><br />Organised in partnership with industry leader <a href="https://neudice.org/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">NeuDICE</a>, a neurodivergent and inclusive community of entrepreneurs, the competition saw an array of submissions from young artists eager to showcase their innovations designed to reduce barriers and promote inclusivity.</p> <p dir="ltr">Participants aged 9 to 14 were asked to submit a visual work, which could be a film, textiles work, game, poster, comic book page, illustration, painting, sculpture, photographic series, fashion garment, collage or animation. The idea would have to focus on one or more of the following characteristics, including kindness, helping others, fairness, inclusion, justice or ‘we are all different’. The submissions were judged based on their creativity, impact and the potential to foster a more inclusive society.<br /></p>
Raven Animation

A screenshot from Raven's animation

<p dir="ltr">Raven Bray, aged 13, was named the Overall Winner, with a compelling animation focusing on their personal struggles, navigating the complexities of mental health and gender identity. Raven’s three and a half minute animation features hand drawn animal characters developing into the true versions of themselves, with the song ‘This is Me’ playing, which was featured in the musical The Greatest Showman. Their prize included an animation book and manga design pens.</p> <p dir="ltr">Raven said, “Thanks so much for choosing me as a winner for the animation I created. This means a lot to me as I created the animation as a way to showcase my art. My animation has a reason behind it; I have battled mental illness over the last year. This animation shows my battle with my mental health and gender identity. If I can inspire just one person with this animation, I will be over the moon. I’m so grateful to have my animation chosen as the overall winner. I feel more confident in showcasing my work now. Arts University Plymouth’s Young Arts Club has really improved my mental health and wellbeing for making my weeks more enjoyable and brighter. I really appreciate this!”<br /></p>
Raven Bray

Overall Winner Raven Bray

<p dir="ltr">Other categories included primary and secondary school age groups and a Special Recognition Award. In the primary age category, 10-year-old Gabby Roberts impressed judges with their wire sculpture, and 11-year-old Abigail Briggs dazzled with their patchwork hat, both winning a hardback sketchbook and graphics marker set. In the secondary group, Geo Parkinson, aged 14, won with their painting, also taking home a hardback sketchbook and graphics marker set. 12-year-old Susannah Ingham won the Special Recognition award for their embroidered shirt, taking home a watercolour pencil set.</p> <p dir="ltr">Gabby said, “If people think that other people should be treated differently because of how they are, then I’d like to remind them that it doesn’t have to be like that. This is the reason why I did this project. My sculpture shows the challenges people might face when they are different in some way, and people aren’t nice. I would like my art to remind them it’s okay to be different and that’s what makes our world beautiful. That’s why I put “You + me = We” on the sculpture and showed people’s differences by the different strands that come together to make a heart.”<br /></p>
Gabby Roberts Age 10

Gabby Robert's winning sculpture

<p dir="ltr"><a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/people/steven-forsyth">Steven Forsyth</a>, Head of Pre Degree at Arts University Plymouth, said, “Thank you to everyone who submitted work into our Inclusive Innovation Competition. Congratulations to the prize winners and well done to everyone for their hard work. There was such a high standard with well thought out messages and the judges found it difficult to choose! The Inclusive Innovation Competition has once again highlighted the extraordinary talent and commitment of our young artist to addressing crucial social issues through their art. We are incredibly proud of all participants and look forward to continuing our support for their development.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The competition will see the entries featured in Arts University Plymouth’s Graduate Shows taking place over the summer.</p> <p dir="ltr">Arts University Plymouth’s <a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/courses/young-arts">Young Arts</a> programme was established in 1988, offering local budding creatives the chance to join one of the <a href="https://saturday-club.org/about-us/">National Saturday Clubs</a>, and be part of a UK-wide initiative with over 70 clubs taking place across the UK. National Saturday Clubs provide members with an array of transferable skills that are greatly sought after by employers in the UK’s thriving creative sector and beyond. To find out more about Young Arts and to join the next cycle of sessions, please visit the <a href="https://www.aup.ac.uk/">Arts University Plymouth website.</a><br /></p>