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Impressions Gallery

exhibitions: past

Who Do We Think We Are

13th Dec - 07th Feb 2015

In the culmination of a major two-year project working with twelve schools across Bradford, young people take over Impressions Gallery with an exhibition showcasing their creativity. Featuring photographic tableaux re-imagining the past, and playful contemporary portraits, the students’ work explores history and social identity. 

Who Do We Think We Are
is the result of the young people’s participation in Impressions’ innovative Hidden Schools Tour. The Gallery toured the exhibition Hidden by Red Saunders to primary and secondary schools across the Bradford district, showing artworks in assembly halls, classrooms, and corridors.

Taking inspiration from the themes of Saunders’ work, students investigated the history of everyday people’s struggles for democracy and equality in the UK. They also explored a range of photographic approaches and techniques including staged, constructed and conceptual photography. Collaborating with artist Jonathan Turner, the students created their own distinctive viewpoints expressing who they are, and who they might have been in the past.

The result is a series of large-scale, highly detailed images in which a cast of young people use costume, props and locations to imagine scenes from eras of British history, completed using contemporary digital composite techniques.  As a counterpoint to their collective artworks, a series of portraits express the individuals’ identities and aspirations that break the conformity of the school uniform.

Participating schools: Carlton Bolling College, Dixons City Academy, Hanson Academy, Ilkley Grammar, Laycock Primary, Oasis Academy Lister Park, Parkside Creative Learning Trust, Peel Park Primary, Ryecroft Primary Academy, Shirley Manor Primary, St Columba’s Catholic Primary, Thornton Grammar.

To read more about the project visit

Funded by Arts Council England Strategic touring fund, with support from Bradford Metropolitan District Council.

Tableau photograph created by students at Hanson Academy in collaboration with artist Jonathan Turner

Tableau photograph created by students at Hanson Academy in collaboration with artist Jonathan Turner

Click on thumbnail below to enlarge

Tableau photograph created by students at Hanson Academy in collaboration with artist Jonathan Turner Tableau photograph created by students at Carlton Bolling College in collaboration with artist Jonathan Turner Tableau photograph created by students at Shirley Manor Primary School in collaboration with artist Jonathan Turner Installation of 'Hidden' exhibition at Parkside Creative Learning Trust Installation of 'Hidden' exhibition at Hanson Academy


As someone in the original 'Hidden' exhibition, I am so impressed with the new exhibition and input from students. Well done.

Brilliant exhibition! Your gallery is really beautiful; I will be coming back.

The quality of detail in the images is amazing. It is fantastic to see a project like this come to Bradford and see the youth of the city involved.

I love what the schools have done by recreating the medieval times! Every single photo looked brilliant. As a photographer myself it has made me think and appreciate the creativity of the younger generation.

A fantastic, influential project. A great way of engaging students with history and photography.

I think that this is an amazing idea of gathering young people’s work. It gives them the opportunity to express their skills and at the same time builds confidence. It also gives them an insight into the real world.

Exhibition Visitor

Loved the exhibition and great to see the students connecting and engaging with history in a different format. Well done!

Exhibition Visitor

This collaboration has come together really well. The realistic photography and photo edited images and the costumes fit together well. It is an extremely important part of history being revealed, that has been executed both professionally and realistically by young adults together with their teachers and photographers. Great show.

Exhibition Visitor

An excellent way to learn about history. I am sure they will remember history much better than just learning from a book.

Exhibition Visitor

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