This annual partnership project with Hampshire Youth Offending Team offers the opportunity to work with professional artists and gain a Bronze Arts Award to vulnerable young people aged 14 – 18. The project is run on the beautiful and aspirational University of Winchester campus, where young people work with professional photographers and performance poets. Young people gain confidence, creativity, employability skills and steps towards a positive future.
The theme this year was 'body image' and the young people interpreted this in an abstract way, finding images that represented the top, middle and bottom of the body.
“This has made me feel confident and I feel valued” (Josh)
“I enjoyed the photography because I could show how I express thought into a photo” (Connor)
“The results of taking photographs whilst changing the settings on the camera were amazing…I was really pleased with my shots.” (Bailee)
“I feel more creative after the project, now I have more understanding about art, I am more thoughtful and expressive. I would never usually go to a gallery, but it was a good experience.” (Jawdn)
All the young people who took part in the Summer Arts College and now involved in education or training. These include The Princes Trust and Skills to Achieve. Two young people have also returned to full time education. All young people have expressed an interest in returning to the next Arts College as mentors.
One young person said: “This has been the best part of my rollercoaster and I don’t want it to stop…the course has kept me out of trouble, I feel I can achieve things…it has changed the way I feel about myself and the way I see others, it has been good for my confidence.”
The project theme was about our place in space and time. The group explored stories, ideas and thoughts about topics close to home, all the way to outer space. Their photography captures a 'starry' effect through using a variety of light techniques and shutter speed.
In August 2016 the Summer Arts College private view took place at Theatre Royal Winchester. The young people's photography was exhibited, they shared their poems with an invited audience and were presented with their Bronze Arts Awards.
Young people worked with professional photographers from 'In Focus' and performance poet Chris Redmond to create their own work about who they are.
This prompted conversations and debates about identity, individuality and belonging, which inspired individual photographs and a group poem.
The artwork was exhibited in Hampshire County Council's E11 Court in Winchester in August 2015. The young people were presented with certificates in front of an invited audience.
One of the young people returned to college as a result of the project, and another was successful in securing a creative apprenticeship.