Photography students stage ‘Eclectic Spectacle’ in a homage to Hartlepool
A pop-up exhibition of original photographs celebrating Hartlepool and the people that live there is being staged by photography students at The Northern School of Art.
Called ‘The Eclectic Spectacle’, the event is taking place in the town’s newest art gallery and creative space, The ConTemporary, which is located in historic Church Street, Hartlepool.
It will feature a mixture of portrait and location black and white documentary-style photographs taken as part of a project by Level 4 (first year) students on the BA (Hons) Photographic Practice (with moving image) degree course at the School’s Hartlepool campus.
Tilli Johnson, 19, (pictured right) originally from Warrington explained that the name for the exhibition reflects the wide range of different work that will be on show. “There will be photographs exhibited that have been taken by students on both photography courses as well as some of the tutors which all have different meaning.
“My images are close-ups of people and, as well as learning in this project how to use large format cameras, I also learned that people aren’t scary and that it is very easy to ask them if they would like a photograph being taken.
Commenting on using film photography Tilli added: “Although I do like using digital, there’s something about film that is nostalgic and I love the process of developing the images. It’s very hands on and that is something that I enjoy.”
Dan Leng, 21, from Saltburn (pictured), is showing photos he took in two local Hartlepool pubs. “They represent life in a place locals enjoy,” he said.
“I chose to study on the photographic practice course as I love photography and I wanted to learn more. This project not only taught me how to use the film camera but also to be more confident when approaching people to photograph.
“People should come to the exhibition to see an excellent series of work from multiple photographers looking at people and places in the local area.”
19-year-old Paige Moorby, originally from York (pictured), said that there will be a range of good quality work on show for visitors to enjoy.
“My photographs are based on the side of Hartlepool that people don’t always see. I captured them in a more minimal way and tried to incorporate a lot of textures and tones that are what I feel really build up Hartlepool.”
Photography lecturer Antony Chambers, (pictured below) said that this was the second year that the course had featured an exhibition of photos taken in and around Hartlepool. “It was a big success last year when the work was shown in the foyer space on Church Street and it is great to be able to make use of the innovative new gallery space at The ConTemporary this year.
“We’re now starting to build up an archive of photographs of the area and the people that live here.”
Antony added that the students have been able to make good use of the range of specialist equipment and facilities on offer to those studying photography at the School: “The unique thing about the show is that it will feature high quality black and white prints made in our darkroom.”
Photographs by Antony and some of his photography colleagues, Alyson Agar and Jamie MacDonald, will also be on show at the event.
‘Eclectic Spectacle’ launches with an open-invitation preview party at The ConTemporary, 13-14 Church Street, Hartlepool, TS24 7HE on Thursday 2 May from 5-8 pm. It is then open on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 May from 12-4 pm. Entry is free.
The Northern School of Art is the only provider of specialist creative courses in the North East with a rating of Gold in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework which means its students receive some of the highest quality teaching in the UK.
Details of the BA (Hons) Photographic Practice (with moving image) degree course and the wide range of specialist skills-based creative courses offered by the school are available at www.northernart.ac.uk Or visit the School’s next open day at its Hartlepool campus on Saturday 8 June 2019.
Set up by cultural regeneration organisation Empty Shop CIC and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, The ConTemporary ‘Empty Shop’ project aims bring together in one place everyone who is passionate about art and culture in Hartlepool.
Part of the Great Place Tees Valley project the new initiative brings a vacant building back to life on a temporary basis following the £1.1m Townscape Heritage redevelopment of Church Street.