Earth Hour 2014: Bolton art student’s poster wins nationwide competition to ‘let the stars light the night’

A bright young thing from Bolton has joined a galaxy of illustrious artists by winning a nationwide competition to celebrate this year’s ‘Earth Hour’.

Earth Hour is an international grassroots movement to switch off non-essential lights for one hour and takes place March 29.

Rebecca Charlton, 22, a student at Manchester Art School, won the public vote in a competition run by WWF and Do The Green Thing with her beautifully designed poster ‘Let the stars light the

Posters designed by prominent artists such as Quentin Blake and David Shrigley have been released daily in the countdown to Earth Hour, with Rebecca’s design being launched in the coming days.

Rebecca told MM: “I’m really excited to be in the same campaign as such talented artists and designers. Especially Quentin Blake, I’ve loved his work since I was little.

“My tutor introduced me to Paula Scher’s work in my first year so it was crazy to be told I was in the same campaign as her too.”

A wave of darkness will travel around the world following the time zones and create a spectacular ‘lights out’ display as more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide hit the off switch at 8:30pm in their time zone.

Rebecca told MM she took inspiration from the popular TV series, Stargazing Live presented by Professor Brian Cox and Dara O’Briain.

“I’d just been watching Stargazing Live, so I think that was in the back of my mind.

“Light pollution has always been something that bothered me, especially in cities when full office buildings are lit up and business signs are left on for no reason; so those two things inspired the tagline ‘Let the stars light the night’ and the illustration developed from there.”

Like in any urban centre, the people of Manchester are mostly denied a view of the night sky by the city glow.

Some of the city’s famous buildings will be showing solidarity with Earth Hour, with the Palace Theatre and the Opera House turning out their lights.

Rosemary Squire CEO of the Ambassador’s theatre Group told MM: “Our participation in WWF’s Earth Hour is vital because it’s a great way of raising awareness of environmental issues whilst also highlighting our efforts in reducing our impact on the environment.

“Last year’s Earth Hour was a huge success and we remain committed to addressing the global issues that affect us all.”

Old Trafford will also be joining other iconic buildings in Britain including Buckingham Palace, Durham Cathedral and Edinburgh Castle who are all turning off their lights off for an hour.

The WWF has made suggestions on how to spend the hour of darkness, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous.

The two hundred residents of Greater Manchester who have pledged to join Earth Hour seem to be favouring the more romantic options of dining by candlelight or star gazing.

Rebecca, who will also be star-gazing, said: “It’s lovely that so many people around the world can participate in an event on the same day, at the exact same time. It’s a really powerful way of communicating the need for change.”

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