Award searches for artists with a love of nature

Padlock Cuttlefish by previous Undersea Art Award winner Harriet Mead SUS-141120-161252001
Padlock Cuttlefish by previous Undersea Art Award winner Harriet Mead SUS-141120-161252001

Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford photographers are being given the opportunity to undergo dive training to create pieces of art inspired by the marine life.

The Undersea Art Award will also give them the chance to show off the work at the annual Society of Wildlife Artistis (SWLA) exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London.

The award is organised jointly by the (SWLA) and The Sussex Wildlife Trust. It was established in 2007 and provides a bursary for the winning artist to learn how to dive and then to work underwater off the coast, recording wildlife of the sea. Previous winners have created wonderful art works to highlight the urgent need for Marine Conservation Zones – from paintings to sculpture. The Undersea Art Award launched in Sussex this week and applicants have until Friday, February 27 to apply by saying how they’d make the most of the experience.

Sussex Wildlife Trust marine officer, Olle Åkesson, said, ‘The Undersea Art Award funds diving lessons for artists with a passion for nature who want to find out more about the astonishingly varied submerged landscapes around UK shores. The idea is to create art inspired by the creatures that live in our cold water coral beds, sponge meadows, canyons and sandbanks.’ Marine Conservation Zones are a type of protected area at sea where human activity is restricted to protect wildlife and habitats.

The Government is creating these zones in the seas around England, following the passing of the Marine and Coastal Access Act (2009).

Areas will allow sustainable use of the sea while protecting a range of species and habitats. For details visit www.wildlifetrusts.org/undersea-art-award.