QUAD is an arts and cultural venue in the heart of Derbyshire. In 2022 they hosted a LomoWalk for twelve students at Horizons Sixth Form college using some La Sardina and Diana Mini cameras. The students were asked to respond to the ideas around Surrealism and were encouraged to to experiment with multiple exposures, angles and framing. These photos were then turned into collages and are being exhibited at QUAD as part of Young FORMAT series for FORMAT Festival 2023. We talked to members of the QUAD education team about setting up this project and the positive outcomes it can have for young people in education.
Hello, QUAD please tell us a bit about yourself and this project?
QUAD is an international centre for engagement in contemporary art and film, focusing on major exhibitions, professional practice for artists, independent film and the creative use of emergent digital technologies. QUAD's vision is to be an arts and cultural venue in Derby that provides high quality contemporary art exhibitions, film, cinema and integrated digital media work that is inspirational, innovative, supportive and inclusive. We provide creative participatory and learning opportunities for people in a safe and welcoming environment for visitors and participants. We collaborate and work in partnership with others to deliver activities that make a positive impact on their lives.
QUAD has been successful in receiving a large grant to support the continuation and development of our School in Residence programme. Paul Hamlyn Foundation continues to support QUAD to deliver the programme, awarding the QUAD Education team a large sum from the Arts Based Learning Fund. The fund enables pupils in formal education settings, particularly those experiencing systemic inequality or disadvantage, to thrive through engagement with high quality, arts-based learning.
Education Curator Daisy Lloyd developed the partnership bid with staff from Pear Tree Community Junior School, St Martins School & Horizons 6th Form and Derby Moor Academy. Building on previous learning, the partnership will continue to explore methods to embed creative and cultural enrichment into the curriculum, and further explore ways to achieve sustainable learning and impact at schools and QUAD. As part of the programme, each school has worked with professional artists to produce photographic work that will be exhibited as part of Young FORMAT during FORMAT23.
How can initiatives like yours help young people?
The School in Residence programme follows a bespoke model of delivery – QUAD Education work closely with school staff to devise and explore cultural enrichment opportunities within the curriculum. It is planned uniquely around each school and its students. One of the main aims of this programme is to explore ways to raise the profile of work produced with young people, and so links strongly with FORMAT Festival, the UK's leading international contemporary festival of photography and related media, which takes place in the city of Derby. We know that the impact this can have on students sense of achievement and self confidence is powerful, and we continuously seek ways to share their creative achievements with the wider community.
How did the workshop go, what were the main challenges and highlights?
Education Curator Daisy Lloyd is a qualified and experienced Photographer, with a background in Photography and Digital Art teaching (and also a keen Lomography user/owner). This expertise enabled us to run a project despite setbacks, and having already established a relationship with the group of learners, we were able to jump straight in and get creating. The use of traditional film cameras is commonly a new experience for young people since digital photography took main stage, and so there was a lot of new learning for the group about traditional processes and risks (we did lose a couple of films to over exposure in the project). There were challenges in loading the film and securing the cameras to be light tight, and in exploring the multiple exposure techniques, but the group achieved some stunning results! They were then asked to explore surrealism further through collaging techniques, which was challenging at times, but again some incredible outcomes were achieved.
How was the reaction when they received the photos back?
We were able to give each student an envelope, containing printed images they had created – so it was a pleasant experience to be able to open and discover, for the first time, what they hadn’t been able to see instantly during the shoots, as they are accustomed to with digital photography. There were some really amazing images created, which were highly celebrated by the group. Some individuals in particular really enjoyed using the traditional techniques.
What's coming up in 2023?
We will continue to develop the School In Residence programme until 2025 when PHF funding comes to an end – we hope to develop a sustainable model during this period that will enable us to continue the programme beyond 2025. During this time, we will work with wider groups of students, and explore further ways to exhibit and celebrate creative work, no doubt FORMAT25!