Croydon College Level 1 Art and Design students have been working on a photography project since they have returned from the holidays. As part of this, the students have been taking photos of Croydon, looking at the culture and what makes it special. The students have also made pinhole cameras – a working camera made from cardboard and duct tape; successfully using them to take images and develop the photos in the darkroom.
As part of the photography project, the students visited the new photography exhibition, ‘YOU NAME IT’ by Sasha Huber at Autograph Gallery London.
“Established in 1988, Autograph’s mission is to champion the work of artists who use photography and film to highlight questions of race, representation, human rights and social justice” – Autograph.
Learning and Participation Manager, Ali Eisa, spoke to the group for over an hour; engaging them in activities around photography. Questions were asked such as, “What do we think when we see a photo?” and “How do our assumptions change the meaning of an image?”
The students engaged really well discussing in pairs and small groups about what identity is and how it can be seen in photography, activism in photography and how unconscious bias influences our ideas of an image. Ali got the students to reflect on questions like, “If you had to save one thing from your house what would you save (assuming all electronic devices, pets, friends and family are already safe)?” and “What food dish would you make for your teacher Rianna?” These questions all linked to back to identity and how we unconsciously have more of an understanding of identity than we originally think.
After this discussion, the students were guided through Sasha Huber’s exhibition that consisted of a variety of artworks, sculptures, video, photography, and activism. Time was spent discussing the images in the gallery and students also reflected on the pieces and what they liked about them. Ali provided students with more detailed information on the history of each piece and the mindset of the artist.
When the visit to Autograph ended the students and staff walked through Shoreditch exploring the street art and talking about the culture of the space. This trip was enlightening and captured the attention of every person who attended.
Thank you to the team at Autograph Gallery, especially Ali who was so generous with his time and knowledge.