A NEW exhibition of artwork by over 600 children from across the globe has gone on display at Newcastle University’s Great North Museum: Hancock.

Where did all the Animals Go? by artist Jane Lee McCracken features vinyl prints of original biro drawings depicting some of the world’s most iconic and endangered species.

The exhibition aims to encourage the growth of collective responsibility towards conservation while giving children and vulnerable wildlife a voice.

Ms McCracken founded the project in 2019 in partnership with the conservation charity Born Free. They worked with educators and conservationists to inspire schoolchildren in England, California, Kenya, Guyana and Malaysia who created the vast collection of colourful drawings during workshops.

Also on display are large format prints of Ms McCracken’s original biro drawings Butterfly Lover and Khan.

She said: “Through drawing, education and the opportunity of self-expression, I hope to generate individual compassion towards animals and the environment while encouraging collective responsibility to further cherish and conserve the planet’s remaining wildlife for future generations: if we care we want to conserve.”

Charlie Baker, Education Officer at Born Free, added: “Born Free are thrilled to be partnered with the Where did all the Animals Go? project. It is so exciting to have seen how engaged children across the globe have been, drawing and learning about both iconic animals, and lesser-known endangered species.

“On every continent wildlife is coming under increasing pressure from habitat destruction, unsustainable exploitation of resources and human-wildlife conflict. This project inspires children to care for all our wild neighbours and understand their importance within the natural landscape, from the African Lion to the Giraffe Weevil.”

Dr Kate Holden, Learning Officer at the Great North Museum: Hancock, said: “We are delighted to showcase the work of children from North East England and around the world in our Living Planet gallery. Their reflection on the state of nature highlights the need to act now to secure the future of the planet they are inheriting.”

Where did all the Animals Go? is open daily with free entry on: Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm; Saturday 10am to 4pm; Sunday 11am to 4pm.

A free drawing workshop for families will take place on August 17, from 11am to 3pm. Find this and other events at www.greatnorthmuseum.org.uk