‘Last Chance to Paint’, inspiring children to connect with the natural world through creativity. ‘Travel’ with artist John Dyer as he paints endangered ecosystems around the world. We will celebrate the children’s art in our online gallery. An optimistic project, building real bonds for the future. Get involved now

“My experiences of painting around the world have created firm bonds between myself and the environment. More than that I have seen my own children bonding with nature as they ‘travelled’ with me. They now tread gently on the planet. I want to enable many thousands of children to bond in this way & to create art using paint, drawings, collage or iPads and to proudly exhibit it in our gallery.”

John Dyer

John Dyer's adventures start again in 2019
Your children can be a part of it

A unique opportunity for children to 'travel', create & exhibit their art alongside the Eden Project's artist in residence John Dyer and supported by learning scientist  Dr David Ashe

'Last Chance to Paint' is being planned and supported by The Eden Project and Survival International

Below: John Dyer's previous art adventures

Schools & children are invited to connect to the world through art
Using 4G and satellite technology we are planning for schools to be able to join us via the internet as we travel. Ask us questions and really be part of the adventures. Live.

Together we will paint and draw amazing people, animals, plants & places. Discover tribal & indigenous art, culture & music. Watch as John paints, learn new techniques and be inspired. Investigate the science of climate change. Children can make a piece of art they will always remember that reinforces connections to the natural world and we will celebrate it on our gallery.


Your children can be part of the biggest online children’s art exhibition inspired by the natural world

How can schools and children get involved? We need lots of expressions of interest from schools and parents so we can raise the funding to run 'Last Chance to Paint'. Please take a moment to pledge your school's interest today so we can make this amazing opportunity a reality for your children soon. Families can pledge their support too and register for our email updates.
We also have a great project you can get involved with today - 'Repair the world'.

'Repair the World' An art project for your class

These are the first projects we want you to be involved with


'Spirit of the Rainforest 2'

The Amazon Yawanawá tribe have agreed that we can visit their tribe and paint with them. ‘Meet’ Nixiwaka Yawanawá and his family in the Rainforest.


'Precious Africa'

We will ‘take’ you to meet and paint the last two Northern white rhino in Kenya


'Person of the Forest, Borneo'

The orangutans in Borneo are suffering because of the destruction of their habitat, ‘travel’ with us to meet the orangutans

What is 'Last Chance to Paint' all about?

What is 'Last Chance to Paint' all about?

We all know that our planet is in trouble. Species are becoming extinct, the coral is dying, the oceans are full of plastic and the forests (the lungs of the planet) are being destroyed – so what can we do about it?

We can give up using our plastic straws and, perhaps use a reusable coffee cup instead of accepting a disposable one; but, will that make enough of a difference? John and David believe that the solution will rely on the next generation – their children and (hopefully, one day) their grandchildren. For the children of the world to solve the crisis, they need to understand what is going on – not just at a conceptual level but at a deep and personal level that may encourage the future CEOs and business leaders to think carefully about the decisions they will make.

John’s art is inspiring and uplifting. David’s research points to helping students make real and lasting connections with their knowledge. Modern technology and digital tools enable students from all over the planet to travel with David and John to make these essential connections with the ecosystems that are being lost.

Please donate to help us 'take' children around the world

We plan to paint around the world and using technology children can ‘travel’ with us, but we need your support.


  • John Dyer has been the artist in residence at the Eden Project in the UK from the year 2000 to the present day. He was made a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society by the world’s greatest explorer of the 20th century Robin Hanbury-Tenison. He is one of Cornwall’s best known and acclaimed contemporary painters and has been appointed as the artist in residence for many organisations, celebrities and events around the world.

    In 2009 John was made the artist in residence for the ‘Darwin 200’ celebrations and did a series of work in the Zoo as well as overseas in Peru. John is the UK’s leading ethnobotanical artist and has painted the world’s three main staple food harvests for the Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), including rice in the Philippines for the United Nations year of rice, potatoes in Peru for the United Nations year of the potato and the banana and cacao harvest in Costa Rica.

    In 2018 John was honoured with a major retrospective exhibition of his work at Falmouth Art Gallery in Cornwall, partly funded by the Arts Council. As part of his retrospectivethe book, ‘Painting the Colours of the World’ was commissioned. The book details the artist’s life and work including all of his environmental projects and paintings.

    In the words of Alan Titchmarsh: “John is an artist who reaches the parts that many other artists cannot.”

    And singer Toyah Willcox adds:
    “John’s brave use of colour and broad truthful brushstrokes make a direct hit on the retina.”

    John’s most recent community art project work has been with the Eden Project, Survival International and Nixiwaka Yawanawá, an indian from the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. The ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’ project engaged well over 1000 children from all over the world to connect with tribal culture through art.

    Read more about the artist on The John Dyer Gallery.

    John Dyer has appeared on TV programmes for ITV and the BBC and has been featured in many news broadcasts. In addition to this, the following videos have been made for previous projects and exhibitions.

    ‘Painting the Colours of the World’ Artist’s 50th birthday retrospective exhibition 2018.

    ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’ exhibition at the Eden Project 2015/2016.

    ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’ Project

    ‘Rice is Life’ Project. Painting for the United Nations Year of Rice at IRRI in the Philippines.

    ‘Darwin200’ Project. Painting for the United Nations Year of Potato at CIP in Peru.

    ‘Wine & Wetlands, Banrock Station’ Project. Painting for wetlands in Australia.

    Introduction to Artist John Dyer.

    ‘The BIG Art and Storytelling Tall Ships Project’ supported by the Arts Council.

  • David Ashe is a technologist and educator. Trained as a Mathematics teacher, David has taught at Primary, Secondary, FE and University levels. After working with a number of technology companies, including Apple Computer, he returned to University to write a PhD which investigated the ways individuals (focusing on Upper-Primary and Lower-Secondary school students) learn and how personal connections can enable deeper understanding. David describes himself as a ‘Learning Scientist’; that is, someone who is constantly learning and someone who continues to research how people learn.

    Over the past 7 years, David has conducted ‘Continued Professional Development’ courses for in-service teachers; here are what some schools/teachers have said about the courses:

    • “The workshop was extremely worthwhile. I now need to regularly implement what we have learnt”
    • “Fantastic link between research and practical uses. Lots of ideas presented in a short time. David was a great presenter – entertaining, enthusiastic and extremely knowledgable. Thank you for a great day.”
    • “Very engaging and made the theory component accessible and relevant to the practical.”
    • “Extremely worthwhile… Thank you so much for opening my eyes.”
    • “The whole workshop was engaging and very worthwhile. I finished the day with a much clearer understanding… One of the best Professional Learning sessions I have ever attended.”
    • “I found it interesting to learn what the research has concluded,,. I found this workshop to be very beneficial.”
    • “Just wanted to thank you for organising David Ashe last week. He was so inspiring and motivating … The session has been the talk of the school for the last few days! He is a great presenter. I completed a school survey during our admin meeting today and have received very positive results and over 95% of teachers want him back again next year!!”

    David is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, has worked with The Teacher Enrichment Academy and will be presenting his latest research paper at The International Conference of the Learning Sciences in June 2018.

    Further details about David can be found at: Dr David Ashe – Research Fellow

  • David and John have known each other for over 20 years. Their friendship brings with it a connection of the worlds of science and art.

    They have embarked on a number of ‘adventures’ over the years which have included visiting remote places such as the jungle of Costa Rica where they did battle with flora and fauna which, they assumed, was ‘out to get them’. 

    John and David share a common concern about the planet. While both families try to tread lightly and to live in a reasonably sustainable way, they both feel they need to do more. ‘Last Chance to Paint’ brings together their very unique skills. John refers to it as his last chance to paint – and in a very real way this is true – today, the white rhino is about to become extinct, others will follow. David talks about the project being the last chance to experience, to study, to interact and to discover; through John’s art, he hopes to enable people (especially school children), wherever they are, to make personal and deep connections with our fragile ecosystems.

  • Above: Artist John Dyer and Amazon Indian Nixiwaka Yawanawá painting in the rainforest biome of the Eden Project

    Nestled in a huge crater, Eden’s covered Biomes house the largest rainforest in captivity, Mediterranean landscapes, stunning plants, crop displays, art installations, exhibitions and stories. They serve as the backdrop to striking contemporary Outdoor Gardens. Here grow colourful plant displays, as well as wild and cultivated landscapes. The Core, Eden’s Exhibitions and Learning Centre, is home to Invisible Worlds, an exhibition exploring the interconnectedness of life and the environment at every scale.

    The Eden Project, an educational charity, connects us with each other and the living world exploring how we can work towards a better future. Eden was built as a symbol of optimism showing what can be done when people work together and with nature and shares stories of hope to inspire people to get involved in tackling some of today’s environmental challenges.

    Eden’s plants, exhibits and exhibitions celebrate our relationship with the natural world: our life-support system. Plants are our lifeblood. From blue jeans to coffee beans, plants feed us, clothe us and heal us. They colour the fabric of our lives and supply the very air we breathe. Eden is a living theatre of plants and people. Many players – artists, writers, sculptors, poets and storytellers – come to perform on Eden’s stage to help communicate the amazing stories about people’s relationship with nature and the vital importance of respecting and nurturing that which keeps us alive. John Dyer was already exploring the relationship between plants and people with his crop paintings from Provence when he was appointed as Eden’s painter in residence in 2000. From day one John embraced Eden’s mission and narrative with his optimistic paintings exploring plants, people and projects. He still works alongside Eden today, and we have been delighted to hold exhibitions of his paintings to share his vision and energy with a wide audience.

    As John discovered more about the plants, the crops and those who grew them, his interest in ethno-botany grew and he embarked on fascinating painting projects, with Eden’s assistance, with organisations in Peru, Australia, Costa Rica and the Philippines. More recently John’s interest has been captured by tribal culture, and his idea to invite Amazon Indian Nixiwaka Yawanawá, a guest of Survival International, to paint alongside him in our Rainforest Biome was inspired. The paintings resulting from this partnership shone a light on tribal culture, the beauty of the forest and its vital nature and the importance of tribes to the health and protection of the rainforests. It also uncovered a new genre of art. This was only the start: it was John’s enthusiasm which inspired over a thousand children from around the world to take an active part in the project too and we were honoured and delighted to exhibit more than three hundred of their paintings in the Rainforest Biome.

    It has been a pleasure to work with John at Eden for the past 18 years, and we look forward to many fruitful partnerships in the future.

    Dr Jo Elworthy Director of Interpretation at the Eden Project


  • The destruction of our rainforest land is terrible, because the forest is alive. It is our life, and the animals’ life. We don’t separate our existence from it, we are all one body and one being: the plants, water, trees and Yawanawá. When we see harm come to the rainforest, it is as if a part of our own body has been hurt. It feels like an illness that rises up in us and needs to be cured. Nixiwaka Yawanawá

    These are the words of Nixiwaka Yawanawá. An Amazon Indian from Acre, who came to work at Survival International to help spread the message about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and the homes of hundreds of thousands of Amazonian tribes, including many uncontacted peoples.

    Nixiwaka spent a year at Survival International in London which saw him tour the country extensively visiting schools, universities and clubs. While visiting the Eden Project to open an exhibition of photographs by Sebastião Salgado and Survival’s President Robin Hanbury-Tenison, he met artist John Dyer and the Spirit of the Rainforest Project was conceived.

    Survival was co-founded in 1969 by Robin Hanbury-Tenison, appalled by the genocide of Amazon Indians detailed in a Sunday Times exposé.

    Robin recalls: ‘For several years, we had little or no income and were run by volunteers. We published information about tribal peoples’ problems, supported projects in their communities, and lobbied for their rights in international forums like the UN. But quickly it became apparent that the only way to ensure the continued survival of tribal peoples was also to catalyse a groundswell of public opinion in their favour.

    ‘That’s ultimately how all progressive movements foster lasting change, from stopping the slave trade two centuries ago, to destroying South African apartheid.

    ‘From our humble beginnings, our thousands of supporters around the world elevated our struggle to a global movement, with hundreds of concrete successes in the field.

    ‘The movement has radically altered the outlook for tribal peoples in many parts of the world.

    ‘Our vision is a world where tribal peoples are respected as contemporary societies and their human rights are protected.’

    One of the key campaigns, and one that Nixiwaka helped to highlight during his time in the UK, was the plight of the many uncontacted tribes in the Amazon and other parts of the world.

    There are more than one hundred uncontacted tribes around the world.

    Uncontacted tribes are not ‘backward’, ‘primitive’ or relics of a remote past. They are our contemporaries and a vitally important part of humankind’s diversity. Where their rights are respected, they continue to thrive.

    As Nixiwaka passionately spoke about, tribal peoples are the best guardians of the natural world, and evidence proves that tribal territories are the best barrier to deforestation. The best way to prevent the destruction of the Amazon rainforest is to campaign for the land rights of uncontacted tribes.

    That is Survival’s core message: For tribes, for nature, for all humanity.


Join us on our journey of discovery Scroll down to see some of the areas that could provide inspiration for 'Last Chance to Paint'.

1. Sea Ice - Arctic and Antarctic

1. Sea Ice - Arctic and Antarctic

The thawing sea ice puts pressure on walruses, polar bears and penguins.

2. Orangutans

2. Orangutans

Loss of habitat and changing weather patterns in Borneo are causing problems.

3. Amazon Rainforest

3. Amazon Rainforest

The rainforest and tribal people are under pressure.

4. Coral Reefs

4. Coral Reefs

Across the world, coral reefs (‘the rainforests of the sea’) are dying.

5. Butterflies, Bees and Crops

5. Butterflies, Bees and Crops

Climate change and habitat destruction puts pressure on pollinators and food crops,

6. People of La Paz, Maldives, Kiribati

6. People of La Paz, Maldives, Kiribati

Water shortages from retreating glaciers in Bolivia; island nations suffer from sea level rise.

7. Sea Turtles

7. Sea Turtles

Rising sea levels and temperature is putting turtles under threat.

8. Pangolins

8. Pangolins

Loss of habitat and poaching is pushing the only scaled mammel to extinction.

9. African ecosystems

9. African ecosystems

Plants and animals are struggling; glaciers are retreating on Mt. Kilimanjaro.

10. Galapagos Islands ecosystem

10. Galapagos Islands ecosystem

Water currents could be interrupted, damaging biodiversity.

11. Madagascar

11. Madagascar

Cyclones, powered by climate change, are damaging ecosystems and people.

12. Red Pandas

12. Red Pandas

As the climate changes, red pandas have to adapt and are now vulnerable.

Above: iPad drawings by John Dyer using ‘Procreate’. Digital art can be a wonderful way to create and draw.

Get involved today We are really good at inspiring young people

The painting gallery shown above is from our last project ‘Spirit of the Rainforest’. The art submitted from over 1000 children was amazing and we plan to engage even more young people through ‘Last Chance to Paint’ if we can, but we need your support in lots of ways

Last Chance to Paint News


  • "What I particularly like about artist John Dyer is that he takes very serious subjects and handles them with a lightness of touch which makes people not feel they are being preached at or made to feel as if they are guilty as sin or that we are necessarily going to hell in a handcart today, but there is always a slight warning that it might happen tomorrow."

    Sir Tim Smit, KBE.
    Co-founder of the Eden Project, Executive Vice Chair of Eden Project Ltd and Executive Chairman of Eden Project International Ltd.
  • “John is an artist who reaches the parts that many other artists cannot.”

    Alan Titchmarsh, MBE, DL.
  • “John's brave use of colour and broad truthful brushstrokes make a direct hit on the retina.”

    Toyah Willcox
  • "Wonder with a message."

    Dea Birkett
    Founder of Kids in Museums, journalist and writer
  • "John's pictures are all about diversity and bringing out what might pass unseen."

    Carlotte Lusty
    Global Crop Trust
  • "I have always had immense respect for anyone who chooses to take time to interpret our world for us through painting, and feel especially privileged to have hosted such an inspired artist."

    Kim Wilde
  • "John's Spirit of the Rainforest paintings introduced us to a new genre of art."

    Robin Hanbury-Tenison, FRGS, OBE
  • "John's paintings can connect the children to the rainforest. The children are the future."

    Nixiwaka Yawanawá
    Amazon Indian from the Yawanawá tribe in Brazil
  • "The natural world is in danger and climate change is a real threat. Let’s take this last chance to change direction and harness the fun and engagement of art, dovetail it with science, and inspire our children to do better than we have done."

    John Dyer, FRGS
    Artist in residence for the Eden Project
  • "We cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the destruction of life on the planet. It is, perhaps, our duty to equip the next generation with both the tools and the motivation to be able to make a real difference"

    Dr David Ashe
    Centre for Research on Learning and Innovation at the University of Sydney

Our supporters We are grateful to the following organisations, companies and people for their valuable support

  • The Eden Project
  • Survival International
  • The John Dyer Gallery
  • Ol Pejeta Conservancy
  • The Yawanawá Tribe
  • Zazzle.co.uk
  • Jackson's Art Supplies
  • jAlbum.net

John dyer art gifts Enjoy the art of John Dyer & help us to fund the project

Support us today by purchasing a John Dyer designed 'Last Chance to Paint' art gift

All the profits from the sale of these items will be used by us to deliver ‘Last Chance to Paint’ to children and schools

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