Who Do We Think We Are
Young people take over Impressions Gallery with vivid recreations of British history.
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 the project blog.
Funded by Arts Council England Strategic touring fund, with support from Bradford Metropolitan District Council.
Our visitors say...
“Fantastic, influential project. A great way of engaging students with history and photography.”
“Loved the exhibition and great to see the students connecting and engaging with history in a different format. Well done!”
“I think that this is an amazing idea of gathering young peoples’ work. It gives them the opportunity to express their skills and at the same time builds confidence.”
Hidden Schools Tour and Who Do We Think We Are
Film produced by Impressions Gallery and Twenty Twenty Films