CNWL’s art message from the heart

Students from the College of North West London (CNWL) recently created their own visual landmark for those walking down Wembley’s Olympic Way.

England’s national stadium is famous for its spectacular arch above the ground — but CNWL can now be proud of the stunning message of ‘LOVE’ which was visible to locals and visitors on the world-renowned pathway.

It was all part of a We are Plastic (WRP) workshop was organized by WE RESTART, supported by VEOLIA, with the aim of educating young people about the importance of single-use plastic recycling through creativity.

Held at the Enrichment Hub in Wembley Campus and attended by students and teachers from CNWL, the project was led by artist Elisa Cantarelli, inspired by the work of artist Yayoi Kusama, and involved giving a new identity by recycling plastic bottles through art and creativity.

The project culminated in the creation of an art installation that spelled out the word ‘LOVE’ using more than 200 single-use plastic bottles.

Each letter was 2m high, and the entire installation spanned across four floors along the windows of the Wembley Campus. Once the letters were hung, students started dotting each letter with an impasto previously prepared.

CNWL students and staff were thrilled to take part in the project and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Erioluwa Ogunwolere, Level 3 Childcare and Education Student, said: “This was such a fun project to get involved with. Who would have thought painting recyclable bottles would have been so fun. I feel proud to say I contributed to reusing the plastic bottles to make something meaningful. My favourite part would be "dotting time" as it was so calming to do.”

Laura Nelson, Level 3 Childcare and Education Student, added: “Thank you so much, this workshop has been amazing! I have loved every second. I’ve found it so calming and good for my mental health and would definitely do it again. It was so fun and I have met some amazing people.”

Shanara Haque, Level 3 Childcare and Education Tutor, commented: “Attending the ‘We Are Plastic’ workshop has been brilliant! My students really enjoyed it. They have learnt so much about sustainability. The workshop has helped students learned how to reuse materials creatively. The presentation on sustainability during the workshop helped students to develop creative skills to communicate the impact of unsustainable behaviours on wildlife as well as how to take action, to save and ensure healthy rivers and oceans.”

And the students were praised by the project’s creators too.

Cristina Cellini Antonini, Founder and Artistic Director of We Restart, said: “Our first workshop at Wembley College was the ‘We Are Plastic’ project, and it was truly amazing! Working alongside such talented and motivated students was a privilege. Together, we collaborated to create a final installation that spanned 4 floors and used over 200 bottles to spell out the word LOVE...and love is what it’s all about! We are grateful to have been a part of this project. Thank you!”

Elisa Cantarelli, Artist, said: “Dotting, coming together to create a wonderful texture. Bottles coming together to create a wonderful artwork. People coming together to create a positive message, to spread to the world. Thank you.”