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Arts and Environment - Summer of Sustainability 2024, Student Work.

Our Summer of Sustainability programme is in full swing, we've had events with OCA tutors Andrea Norrington, Gill German and Liz Cashdan. All interesting and different. The recordings will be made available soon. Check out our events page for more opportunities to try something new this summer.

We asked students working within the theme of the environment or the climate crisis to share their work with us, we've featured the following across our instagram already but want to spotlight them here, thanks to Andrea, Catherine and Debbie. More to come over the next few weeks.


Andrea Schwickart

Stage 2 Photography student Andrea Schwickart shares their work with us for OCASA’s Summer of Sustainability.

“Many of my photographs refer to The Anthropocene. It is a recurring theme in my work. Primarily I photograph landscapes. However, my studies also lead me to other genres and techniques.”

Follow Andrea @einfach_momente


Catherine Smith

Photography student Catherine responded to our open call for work that is linked to the environment or the climate crisis with her Self Directed Project 'Share Swim Love' for her course Ethics and Representation. 

“Over the course of several months I have documented a group of Open Water Swimmers in Hythe Bay, Kent. They swim in all seasons, all weathers formed as a result of the covid lockdown restrictions whereby only 1 hour of exercise was permitted each day. Their numbers continue to rise as the benefits of open water swimming on physical and mental health become common knowledge. Unfortunately they continue to be affected by the sewage water crisis affecting UK shores, with regular sewage alerts issued by the Environment Agency as a result of private water companies polluting our coastline and waterways. @Surfersagainstsewage are also holding a number of paddle out protests. Whilst my image making focused on the swimmers it goes hand in hand with the environment and the wider issue of water pollution which affect their swims”

I have selected three images from the time I spent with the group with more to be found on my learning log and website via the links below. 

Follow Catherine @Cat8smithphotography

Links to:

2.2 EAR Assignment 10 - SDP Presentation and final selection for this unit.


Debbie Johnston

The impetus for Creative Arts student Debbie Johnston’s Solo Exhibition, May 2024, was the felling of majestic palm trees within her immediate neighbourhood in Lomé, Togo.

The grief experienced by the loss of these trees urged Debbie to rescue the saplings she and her husband discovered in the canopy of the felled trees. She then featured these saplings in an interactive installation, From Losses to Hope.

Machetes - the tree felling tool of choice in west Africa – have come to symbolize for Debbie “loss” – specifically the losses experienced by expatriates every time they relocate. Visitors to her exhibition were encouraged to select a machete print pulled from the surface of a machete. They then wrote on the front of the paper machete, in oil pastel, keywords to express the main losses they experience when moving countries. They then taped their machete to the glass surrounding the installation of palm and moringa tree saplings.

Visitors were also encouraged to take home a moringa sapling - the small saplings on the lower stairs - to plant and nurture as a symbol of Hope. The nurturing of plants and spending time in nature featured in her research of expatriates as being key means to help cope with the highly mobile expatriate lifestyle and the nurturing of hope.

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