How does art document and portray changes to our landscape? Could we use art to predict our future landscape?
This resource is inspired by the Open University's 'Landscapes of Change' film, part of their 'Art and Climate Change' series. It is also inspired by the works of Aberdeen-based printmaker, Ade Adesina, who creates imaginary landscapes.
This resource offers ideas and suggestions for:
encouraging students to look in-depth at artworks and discuss their responses
research and learn about different landscapes and industries across the UK
develop and create new work in response to landscapes of their local environment
discussing and reflecting on the environmental crisis
This Art and Design resource offers a series of activities that can be used together as a lesson plan or as individual components to integrate into your own scheme of work. It is devised for Key Stage 3 and 4 / CfE Level 3 and 4. It also has cross-curricular links with Geography.
- Produce creative work - Become proficient in craft and design techniques - evaluate and analyse creative works - Know about great artists and understand the historical and cultural development of their art forms - Actively engage in the creative process of art, craft and design in order to develop as effective and independent learners, and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds - Develop critical understanding through investigative, analytical, experimental, practical, technical and expressive skills - Develop and refine ideas and proposals, personal outcomes or solutions with increasing independence - Acquire and develop technical skills through working with a broad range of media, materials, techniques, processes and technologies with purpose and intent - Develop knowledge and understanding of art, craft and design in historical and contemporary contexts, societies and cultures
- Understand the processes that give rise to key physical and human geographical features of the world, how these are interdependent and how they bring about spatial variation and change over time - Understand how human and physical processes interact to influence, and change landscapes, environments and the climate; and how human activity relies on effective functioning of natural systems
- Researching, gathering and interpreting information from direct experiences, observations, memory, imagination and a range of traditional and digital sources; - Developing an appreciation of the work of artists, designers and craft workers from their own and other cultures, past and present; - Developing creative thinking skills and personal creative outcomes through investigating, realising, designing and making; - Using the visual elements with understanding when engaging in art and design; - Evaluating and appreciating their own and others’ work through discussion and reflection
- Develop a sense of place through the study of: a range of local, national, European and global contexts; contrasting physical and human environments
- I have experimented with a range of media and technologies to create images and objects, using my understanding of their properties (EXA 3-02a) - I can use and combine the visual elements and concepts to convey ideas, thoughts and feelings in expressive and design work (EXA 3-03a) - Provides opportunities for me to deepen my understanding of culture in Scotland and the wider world. While working through a design process in response to a design brief, I can develop and communicate imaginative design solutions (EXA 3-06a) - I can respond to the work of artists and designers by discussing my thoughts and feelings. I can give and accept constructive comment on my own and others' work (EXA 3-07a) - Through creating a range of reference material, I can demonstrate my skills of observing and recording and apply them to work in other areas of the curriculum (EXA 4-04a) - By working through a design process in response to a design brief, I can develop and communicate imaginative and original design solutions (EXA 4-06a) - I can analyse art and design techniques, processes and concepts, make informed judgements and express considered opinions on my own and others' work (EXA 4-07a)
People, Place and Environment
- I can investigate the climate, physical features and living things of a natural environment different from my own and explain their interrelationship (SOC 3-10a) - By comparing settlement and economic activity in two contrasting landscapes, I can reach conclusions about how landscapes influence human activity. I can explain my findings clearly to others (SOC 3-13a) - I can develop my understanding of the interaction between humans and the environment by describing and assessing the impact of human activity on an area (SOC 4-10a)
- I can explore creative work, understanding the personal, social, cultural and historical context, including the conventions of the period in which it was created - I can investigate and understand how meaning is communicated through the ideas of other artists and performers - I can effectively evaluate my own creative work and that of others showing increasing confidence to recognise and articulate strengths, and to demonstrate resilience and determination to improve. - I can apply knowledge and understanding of context when evaluating my own creative work and creative work by other people and from other places and times - I can use my experimentation and investigation to manipulate creative work with purpose and intent when communicating my ideas
Progression step 4:
- I can understand and explain how human actions affect the physical processes that shape places, spaces, environments and landforms over time - I can make meaningful connections and comparisons between a broad range of historical periods of time in order to develop a chronological map of the past - I can use my knowledge and understanding to analyse and explain how different communities and societies have changed over time, in my locality and in Wales, as well as in the wider world
Watch and discuss: Landscapes of Change
This film by the Open University and Glasgow Museums explores how museum objects, such as nineteenth-century paintings, can help us to understand the history of the environmental crisis and how we might shape our response to this crisis.
Watch the film then discuss the following questions in class:
Which industry is the focus of the film? Which engineering feat led to this growth of this industry?
How did the nineteenth-century artist John Knox present this burgeoning industry at the time?
How have the River Clyde and the city of Glasgow changed since?
How did the Impressionist painters Georges Seurat and Camille Pissarro present the impacts of industry on the environment in their paintings?
What effect might these paintings have had on audiences' perceptions of industry at the time, and since?
You may wish to look closer at the paintings featured in the film and discuss them further.
Look and discuss: British landscapes across time
In class, explore the following examples of changing landscapes across Britain including:
Bridges near Belfast Harbour
Aberystwyth Harbour and beachfront
Waterloo Bridge, London
In your discussions compare and contrast:
the two larger images for each region before reflecting on the more gradual changes in the images below.
the industries present and how they impact the environment in different ways
the artists' depictions – are they: realistic? Abstracted? Exaggerated? Deceptive?
More Belfast bridges examples (in chronological order)
Prospect of Queens Bridge, The Harbour and Timber Pond, Belfast 1858
James Howard Burgess (c.1810–1890)
Queen's Bridge, Belfast
William Alfred Green (1870–1958)
The Queens Bridge, Belfast
Frank McKelvey (1895–1974)
Queen Elizabeth Bridge, Belfast 1985
Colin Gibson (b.1948)
Queen Elizabeth Bridge, Belfast 1991
David Long (b.1933)
Progress – The Lagan Bridge March, 1995
Lorna Hamilton (b.1973)
More Stoke-on-Trent examples
Wood's Pottery, Longport 1950
W. K. Harper
Canal Scene with Bottle Ovens
Harold Bennett (1879–1955)
The Sytch, Burslem
Gordon Mitchell Forsyth (1879–1952)
Maria C. Wyatt (active 1940–1950)
View of Hanley
Jack Clarkson (1906–1986)
More Aberystwyth examples
View of Aberystwyth 1861
William Ward Gill (1823–1894)
Aberystwyth Harbour 1880–1899
Alfred Worthington (1834–1927)
Edmund Marriner Gill (1820–1894)
Harbour Scene, Aberystwyth c.1880–1915
Alfred Worthington (1834–1927)
T. E. Young
Harbour Front 1950–1970
Hywel Harries (1921–1990)
More Waterloo Bridge examples
The Thames above Waterloo Bridge c.1830–5
Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
The Thames and Waterloo Bridge from Somerset House c.1825
Frederick Nash (1782–1856)
The Thames from a Wharf at Waterloo Bridge ?1866
Edwin Edwards (1823–1879)
Waterloo Bridge 1915
Léon de Smet (1881–1966)
Waterloo Bridge 1925
Sine MacKinnon (1901–1996)
London, Waterloo Bridge 1926
Oskar Kokoschka (1886–1980)
Waterloo Bridge, London 1927
Robin Wallace (1897–1952)
Start by typing in the name of the place e.g. Fraserburgh
You can narrow things down further by selecting artworks from your region using the Location filter e.g. North East Scotland
You can also do this using 'Map view' (once you have begun an initial search)
Remember to clear previous searches by clicking 'Start new search' or removing individual search terms.
You may wish to use Google Street View on Google Maps for an up-to-date snapshot of how your chosen location looks now.
Compare and contrast how depictions of your chosen landscape has changed over time in the same way as the previous activity and take notes.
Activity: collage your future environment
Following on from the research task, this creative activity challenges you to create an artwork depicting the local landscape as though it is in the future.
To get some inspiration, explore the following prints by Ade Adesina, a Nigerian-born artist based in Aberdeen, Scotland. Through his imagined landscapes, Adesina explores ecological change such as deforestation and threats to endangered species, as well as global conflict and the politics of energy consumption. The landscapes often make visual reference to Nigeria, Scotland and beyond.
In class, discuss some or all of the examples below and consider if they are: hopeful or bleak? Familiar or futuristic? Utopian or dystopian?
Which elements in Adesina's work can you imagine would also appear in your future environment? What would be different?
Ade Adesina (b.1980)
Ade Adesina (b.1980)
Ade Adesina (b.1980)
Secrets of the Sand 2016
Ade Adesina (b.1980)
Ade Adesina (b.1980)
Reflect on how your local environment has changed over the years according to the artistic depictions you discovered.
Write down what further changes you might expect to see across centuries to come, whether these are minimal or extreme, realistic or fantastical. How might evolving industries, climate change or local issues affect this? What objects or symbols might visually depict these changes?
With these ideas in mind, now create a collage of your future landscape.
Here are some approaches to creating artwork.
Create a cut-and-paste collage using a printout of one of the artworks of your local area overlaid with futuristic figures and objects cut out of unwanted magazines and books. You will require a pair of scissors and a glue stick for this.
Alternatively, create a pop-up version of the above method using various layers from the different artworks you've found.