Ever wondered what the future will be like in 50 years time? 10-year-old Elsie, a finalist from Chapter’s Postcards From The Future competition, explains the vision behind her artwork.
What was your inspiration for the artwork?
In school, we’ve been learning about a man called Stephen Wiltshire who is an architectural artist and he has a photographic memory which I found really cool. So, when we were told we were going to do a futuristic city competition, I thought ooh, that’s a good thing to do maybe.
I thought about doing an underwater city and I thought ooh that could be cool. Someone said to me wait – how is everyone going to breathe? I think in 50 years’ time scientists are going to be able to invent stick-on gills and also weighted shoes, so you stay down to the ground. So you can hear people, breathe underwater and stay down to the ground! That’s why my whole city is underwater.
Also, we’ve mastered talking to animals so there was somebody who mastered talking to animals so now we’ve made an agreement with the animals that we’ll stay underwater if we don’t harm their habitats.
The reason that it’s underwater is because due to rising sea levels, Cardiff is flooded. Only one bit of Cardiff though, not the whole world! That’s the underwater city. It’s a great tourist place. When I thought about how I was going to do it, I wanted to include everything that you have in the actual city today like a school, a supermarket, a town, and houses, of course. But I also added some new stuff like a wellbeing centre and also ski-carts to get around.
How do you feel about being included in a professional art exhibition in Chapter?
It feels so great to know that my work is being displayed in Chapter. When I was a baby, my mum used to push me around all the art exhibitions in Chapter, so to know that my work is being displayed there is really great.
I actually went there on the weekend with my family and lots of people came up and chatted to me and said how good my work was which made me feel really happy and great. I feel so proud that that’s happened.
Often in Chapter there’s quite grown-up work that children don’t normally get but now there’s some work that children will go and think woah, that’s really cool, it’s really great.
I love going to art exhibitions myself and I always wonder what it feels like to have your actual work displayed there and now I know, definitely. I’ve been to loads before and they’re really great and to know that my work is being displayed in Chapter makes me feel so incredibly proud.
What other creative things do you do?
My mum is actually an art teacher, and she runs art workshops, so I do lots of art at home and I have lots of art supplies. I have a bullet journal which is like a journal to bullet plan everything in and it’s very good for mental health and wellbeing. I use that a lot, more as a sketchbook than more of a tracker so I have lots of drawings in my bullet journal.
Throughout lockdown, I did lots more art like in home learning, I turned all of my tasks into art projects like I love reading the Beano, and so when we had a science project to do, I turned it into a Beano comic strip which is really fun. In school we learn lots and we have really good art teachers so that means we learn lots about new artists and lots of the time I feel really inspired and I go do that work at home.
I have two classes every week that my mum actually runs that I go to: one bullet journaling class and one sketchbook class. Those are really fun and lots of my friends go too so I get to do work with my friends at school.
Me and my friends have also been bringing in our sketchbooks to our school playground which we’ve been like doing little art clubs sort of where we’d all just sit and talk and sketch, basically. I LOVE doing art. It’s probably my favourite thing to do so whenever I get the chance to – I love just to sit down and do art.
Is there anything else that you’d like to say about being a finalist?
I love going to Chapter. I basically grew up there. It’s probably one of my favourite places on earth. I love watching the films there. I always wait until the films come to Chapter so that I can watch it there because it’s just so much fun. I also used to do art workshops there and also drama classes and that was really fun. And the food is also very delicious (if the people of Chapter are watching).
So, I’m so glad that I’m one of the winners for Chapter’s 50th anniversary for the future postcard competition – it’s so amazing that that’s happened.
I really hope that in 50 years time, Chapter will be doing another competition for their 100th anniversary. Maybe then, I might have grandchildren who will enter that competition.
I can’t imagine what it would be like to win the public vote and get my work up on the big lightbox up the top. That would be like incredibly amazing and I can’t imagine that happening, but if it does, that would be incredibly amazing. I just love Chapter and I’m so glad that I was able to be one of the winners.
This is part of the Postcards From The Future campaign held in collaboration with Chapter Arts for their 50th Birthday celebrations. To learn more about the competition and all the other talented finalists, click here.