Students work alongside world-class female photographer
Fine art, graphic design, fashion, costume and photography degree students from The Northern School of Art enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work alongside an acclaimed female artist-photographer as part of an exciting new project.
Hartlepool Art Gallery, in partnership with The Northern School of Art’s town centre university campus, commissioned one of the fashion world’s most noted photographers, Alice Hawkins (pictured below in a Self-Portrait as Dolly Parton, Nashville 2011), to create a series of striking photographs supported by the degree level students which is being showcased publicly as part of the gallery’s exhibition ‘The Female Gaze: Revisited’.
The retrospective exhibition, which is at Hartlepool Art Gallery until Saturday 23rd April, features highlights from Alice Hawkins’ 20-year career and showcases an extraordinary panoramic portrait of women around the world, examining changing perceptions of femininity, fashion and gender over the past two decades.
Alice Hawkins has shot editorials for Pop, i-D, Love, Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, SHOWstudio, Arena Homme+ and British Vogue, and her celebrity subjects have included Donatella Versace, Paloma Faith, Pamela Anderson, Gisele Bündchen and Tom Jones.
The two-day photoshoot involved ten students from the Northern School of Art working together with Alice Hawkins to create a set of photographic portraits depicting the contemporary character of Hartlepool and the people who live here. Photography student Bea Mitchell assisted Alice and fellow photography student Debbie Todd was a casting producer.
Alice Hawkins said: “Discovering a new place, meeting strangers and photographing them makes me feel alive. It’s been my lifelong creative process, which I feared might be impossible to pursue ever again due to the pandemic.
“I can’t express how much the support and opportunity The Northern School of Art gave me to create this new work means to me. Thank you to everyone for being involved and saying yes! Making this new work with the students and local people of Hartlepool brought back my spirit of adventure and I can’t wait to return, I’ll be back!”
Alyson Agar, Senior Lecturer coordinating The Northern School of Art’s involvement in the project, said: “We are delighted and extremely grateful for the opportunity for an icon like Alice to come to Hartlepool to work with our students.
“In a time where students have missed out on so many opportunities for projects and creative collaboration, to offer such a high-profile project to the students has been amazing. We’ve loved every minute of the collaboration and are excited about being part of the exhibition.”
Following the shoot, a selection of images chosen by the artist has been incorporated into The Female Gaze: Revisited exhibition. The images will be screened digitally and acquired permanently for the Hartlepool Borough Council collections.
Georgina Ascroft, the Council’s Museum and Gallery Manager, said: “We’re really excited by this commission. We’ve been given the opportunity to capture a moment in time and preserve it in the collections cared for by Hartlepool Borough Council for future generations. The collaboration between Alice and the students should make for a compelling insight into the people and places that make Hartlepool unique.”
‘The Female Gaze: Revisited’ exhibition has been created in collaboration with Alice Hawkins, Hartlepool Art Gallery, The Northern School of Art and the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, with funding from Hartlepool Borough Council, Tees Valley Museum Group and the Northern School of Art. Entry is free.
Hartlepool Art Gallery is in Church Square and is open 10am – 5pm Tuesdays to Saturdays. For more information call (01429) 869706 or visit www.hartlepoolartgallery.co.uk
Further information about The Northern School of Art’s creative degree courses is available HERE