Art and Business departments at Southwark College came together to celebrate Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) with an Art Therapy session and a photographic and painting exhibition put together by Business and Art and Design students.
Learners collaborated to produce a photographic display to show what diversity means to them and highlight the differences and similarities between learners. This included images of people from different ethnicities and influential members of the LGBTQ community and the world art and literature, such as Lilian Bader, Helen Sharman, and Dadabhai Naoroji.
They also produced oil paintings to reflect their relationship to EDI principles. These paintings were displayed in the College’s Atrium and included a Jamaican flag, a face made up of different colours, and other abstract work.
Annette Cast, Principal at Southwark College, said: “Southwark College is committed to creating a safe and inclusive space for all, which is why Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are of the utmost importance to us.
“During these weeks, we hope to promote diversity and celebrate our differences to ensure that everyone is valued and welcomed at the College. It is wonderful to see our learners get involved with this message and bring their ideas and interpretations into their work.”
Sara Pulgarin Velez, Art and Design student, said: “I enjoyed collaborating with my peers to produce a piece of work that celebrates our differences. Painting with my classmates showed me the variation between different artists and helped me to appreciate the benefits of working with people from a range of ethnicities and backgrounds.”
Business students also hosted an Art Therapy session for staff focused on David Hockney, a famous artist and member of the LGBTQ community who recently designed a piece in Piccadilly Circus as part of the ‘Let’s Do London’ project. During the session, staff members learned about his work and formed their creative response.
Bushra Iqbal, Head of Business, Digital and Access, commented: “This week has been a wonderful opportunity to draw attention to equality and diversity and how it relates to all learners and staff members within Southwark College. Our staff and students have thoroughly enjoyed taking part and we look forward to instilling these principles in activities throughout the college.”
Find out more about the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy at southwark.ac.uk/equality-diversity-and-inclusion.