PECT Green Festival 2016  – Featured Artist 

Seven artists have been commissioned to transform Peterborough city centre into a showcase for environmental art at this year’s PECT Green Festival, which returns with a Launch Day on Saturday 13th August and Fringe Events through till 21st August.

From a three-metre long papier-mâché stag beetle to an origami boat-walking trail, the artworks promise to spark debate about sustainable living and encourage residents to take positive action for the local and global environment.

Organised by the charity Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT), the Festival brings together community groups, charities and businesses in an annual celebration of ‘green’ initiatives in the city. The Festival aims to encourage local people to live sustainably and develop long-term behaviour change, by exploring themes such as sustainable transport, recycling, local and sustainable food and biodiversity.

For the second year running PECT have commissioned artists to support and create new artwork specifically for the festival. They will exhibit their works and run interactive activities at the 2016 event.

In lead up to the Peterborough Green Festival Idea1 will release an interview with each of the 7 artists. A chance to get a taster of what to expect at this years Green Fest and get to know the artists. Introducing the fourth Green Festival artist, Janet Bates.


Artist: Janet Bates

Art Work: Lucanus Cervus

Natural history is a dominant theme in Janet Bates’ work, and her planned Green Festival sculpture is no exception. The Janet will create a three metre-long sculpture of the endangered male stag beetle using recycled materials and papier-mâché. The sculpture aims to illustrate the enormous loss if the stag beetle were to become extinct. Visitors to the sculpture will find a surprise inside…


What’s your name? Tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Janet bates and I am a mixed media artist. I graduated with a BA Hons in Fine Art and work from my studio in Peterborough, combining my own practice, with working freelance for the national charity, painting in hospitals.


Could you describe your art practice?

My work is varied although the themes I work with usually have their roots in natural history. Influenced by the way museums have traditionally displayed, classified and archived exhibits, I explore how these approaches shape our understanding. Whilst drawing and printmaking are central to my practice I use a variety of techniques and materials, to produce work which fuses the decorativeness of craft with fine art.


What will you be creating as part of your Green Festival Commission?

As part of the Green Festival I am creating a very large Male Stag Beetle. Using papier-mâché techniques to support the sustainability aspect, the beetle will be 3 meters in length and 1.5 meters tall. I wanted to create something, which would make people stop, come over and look, and would enable me to highlight what we can do to protect endangered invertebrates.  Within the sculpture, there is a surprise, to further enhance the message.


How can the public get involved with your artwork? 

Audience involvement will be through the surprise inside. Supporting leaflets will allow people to create wildlife friendly habitats with their own gardens.


What have been your challenges whilst creating this work?

Undoubtedly the size. Working large scale had bought its challenges, not least studio space! Being able to work 360 degrees on something so large has required some new creative approaches to ensure the sculpture maintains scale and proportions.


Are there any specific ways that you would like the public to interact with your piece?

I want people to remember it, to take away the importance of protecting invertebrate species in this country and what they can do to help. In addition to this, I want people to enjoy it and to find beauty in insects native to the UK.


The Green Festival is getting bigger and better each year, with the integration of artists in last year only being an added element, how would you like to see The Green Festival progress? 

To see the festival grow in size and impact, attracting more and more people. Art has a powerful role to play in this, making the festival more memorable, educational and impactful for adults as well as children. Hopefully we will inspire those who have not considered sustainability issues and the importance of the environment.


When and where can we see your piece at Green Festival?

Cathedral Square on 13th August, next to Buglife’s Stand, You won’t miss it!


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