My Story of Britain
Last term, GCSE Photography students opened an exhibition entitled ‘My Story of Britain’ in the College Reception.
Last term, GCSE Photography students opened an exhibition entitled ‘My Story of Britain’ in the College Reception. ‘My story of Britain’ showcased a series of photographs created by our young students to reflect their perception and representation of what they believe to be British culture, ways or rituals.
The project was introduced by one of our American interns Gabby Pallotto, Connecticut USA. She was struck by the reality of multiculturalism in Britain: ‘As an American teacher coming over to Britain I had many ideas in my head of what Britain was going to or supposed to look like. I wanted each pair of students to start with their initial reaction to this question, “What does it mean to be British?”
Despite the busy schedule of their coursework projects, students enthusiastically undertook ‘My Story of Britain’ project. From their initial response they looked at artists such as Martin Parr, a British photographer who is internationally known for his innovative and ‘in your face’ approach to photography through which he represents British culture. His series on Brighton was particularly useful at helping them develop their own style as well as explore some of their own cultural practices in this country of Britain.
‘I wanted them to think about what they truly thought it meant to be part of the culture they live in…’
For 6 weeks, they researched, shot, reviewed and reshot, in studio and on location, including a trip around the local area where they learnt valuable techniques such as Street Photography and how to photograph total strangers with their consent. Working in pairs, each group completed a sketchbook full of prints and critical writing on techniques, context and practices.
The result was a beautifully curated exhibition by the students. The staff and parents were invited to the Private View and their reactions were very positive. ‘I had a look at the exhibition, it was brilliant!!!! What great work! Très Bien!’ commented Ms A. Madlani later.
The photographs have now been shipped to Connecticut, USA for a second exhibition organised by Gabby Pallotto.
Head of Photography Dpt