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Impressions Gallery

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Bradford schoolchildren are first to experience innovative art project

Thu, 19th Sep, 2013

Pupils in local schools Dixons City Academy and Shirley Manor Primary School will have the chance to experience a major exhibition by renowned photographer Red Saunders, thanks to an innovative project by Bradford’s Impressions Gallery. 

The exhibition, entitled Hidden, is touring to 12 schools across the district over the next year. The tour, which takes a nationally acclaimed exhibition and brings it directly into schools, is thought to be the first of its kind in the country. Impressions Gallery were awarded a lottery grant of £96,000 through Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring programme, plus support from Bradford Metropolitan District Council, to enable the project to happen. Each school will host the exhibition for up to a month, and run a range of lessons, workshops and events to engage and inspire pupils, as well as their families and the wider community.

Hidden features epic photographs that re-imagine historical events in Britain’s struggle for democracy and equal rights, and are full of detail to spark the imagination of young people. Red Saunders is an acclaimed photographer who recently made international headlines with his monumental photograph displayed on the façade of City Hall building in Utrecht, Netherlands, to commemorate the tri-centenary of the 1713 Peace Treaty of Utrecht.

Sarah Read, Deputy Director of Impressions Gallery and the Project Lead said: ‘The Hidden schools tour demonstrates that great art can be for everyone. Impressions Gallery already offers an extensive education programme, but the schools tour will help us to work with young people who wouldn’t normally come into a gallery, helping them to build their confidence and understanding of artists, photography, and galleries. We hope that pupils will be inspired by Red Saunders’ accessible, dramatic and socially engaging work’.

Shirley Watson, Principal of Dixons City Academy said, ‘At Dixons City we have a strong commitment to the creative arts as we believe they make a hugely important contribution to a broad and balanced education.  We  are delighted to be one of the first schools to participate in this innovative project which encourages cross-curricular links. Undoubtedly the Hidden pproject will inspire our students to learn about history through a very powerful medium as well as enhancing our strong links with the city and wider community.'

Maureen Neill, Headteacher of Shirley Manor Primary School said ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with Impressions Gallery. Having Red Saunders’ work exhibited in our school provides us with a wonderful teaching resource, and the creative and imaginative possibilities for pupils to get involved are endless’.

Red Saunders, photographer, said ‘My hope is that my images can breathe new life into important historical figures and events. I’m thrilled that children and young people in Bradford will be viewing and working with these images in their schools, and discovering more about the ‘hidden’ histories within the ongoing struggle for people’s rights’.

Ralph Dartford, Relationship Manager at Arts Council England, Yorkshire, said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting this exciting initiative. Impressions have developed an innovative model of bringing high-quality photography exhibitions directly to schools. This initiative will bring truly inspiring arts experiences to young people across Bradford and the wider community, bringing photography and history to life’.

Leveller Women in the English Revolution, 1647  Red Saunders

Leveller Women in the English Revolution, 1647 Red Saunders

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