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The theme of our third and final challenge for 2020 has possibly never been so apt – Evolution. When we started this Challenge, back in January, we had absolutely no idea what lay in store for our world.
We chose our theme, ‘The Year of Perfect Painting’, because 2020 promised so much: it was the start of a new decade, and we were keen to see how you interpreted themes that showed how much we had advanced – not just in the last ten years, but in the last one hundred. Where would we go from here, we asked you? How would our climate change? How would technology continue to alter our lives?
Sadly, 2020 has brought us major new personal, economic and health challenges that we could never have anticipated. Ironically, the only positive to have come out of the worldwide pandemic is that the environment benefitted from en masse lockdowns. Suddenly there was a massive reduction in CO2 emissions and satellite images showed a dramatic decline in levels of pollution. Wild animals were out on city streets, our rivers and oceans became clearer and full of life once more.
There is no doubt that, as lockdowns are lifted and life returns to something approaching normality, we – individuals and governments – may slip back into some of our previous bad habits. But the silver lining to the pandemic is that we have learnt that, in a time of crisis,
we can make drastic changes to the way we live and the resources we consume. What we need to do now is build on this and move forward: progress, advance, evolve.
So, for our final challenge, show us how you see our planet in the future, or how you see yourself and your family changing and moving forward. Change can encompass many things. Your painting might want to focus on nature – the way plants bloom and wither. Or through your art you could look at personal evolution: the way we will socialise differently in the short term, the different ways in which we will need to greet each other, communicate and show love; new methods of travelling, shopping, eating and drinking. Have we learnt enough over the last six months to help us evolve more effectively and look after ourselves, our loved ones and our planet? We hope so. Now you tell us with your paintings: what does evolutionmean to you?