University of Sunderland student sheds light on cost of living crisis with striking ‘Food for Thought’ artwork

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Laura Clark’s ‘Food for Thought’ installation features a pyramid of canned goods relabeled with various statistics, such as ‘1 in 10 parents skip meals to feed their children’ and ‘1 in 7 were employed while using a food Bank “. .

The 18-year-old student from the University of Sunderland, County Durham, hopes her project will inspire people to reflect on the seriousness of the cost of living crisis and to be more empathetic towards those struggling.

She said: “The labels displayed are there for people to take away and apply to their own boxes, to remind them of the current situation and their possible privilege, and perhaps encourage action to support food banks.

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“I’m interested in the idea of ​​the audience as an active participant, helping to eradicate the problem, rather than a passive spectator.

“I want people to appreciate the precariousness of the situation and inspire empathy.”

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Laura’s work is currently on display at the university’s graduation exhibitions based at the National Glass Centre, the Priestman Building and the Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens.

Laura Clark, student at the University of Sunderland, with her work “Food for Thought”.

Visitors to the exhibits have the opportunity to collect canned goods which have been donated to help those in need with leftovers donated to the Bethany City Church Food Bank in Sunderland.

Laura, who was keen to use the power of art to shine a light on the issue of poverty, added, “Poverty is rarely addressed in art despite affecting real people on such a large scale. As someone who thinks art has the potential to bring about change, I think there is a need for poverty to be addressed visually in the art world.

The exhibitions opened to the public from Saturday June 11 – and this is the first time that students have been able to exhibit their work publicly following the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The empowering work of art by 18-year-old Laura Clark.

Professor Kevin Petrie, Director of the School of Art and Design, said: “While our online showcases have been a great success, it’s great to be back with live graduation shows.

“Visitors will see an amazing diversity of themes and ways of working, but what unites all of our students is the passion to comment, reflect and change our world.

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