We have been working with a group of students from West Cumbria, with an interest in photography and media. The students joined us for a visit to the University of Cumbria Media Department, at their Brampton Road Campus. During their visit, they participated in a photography workshop, led by Senior Lecturer, Sarah Bonner. During the workshop, the students had the opportunity to set up their own still life model, capture their image using the professional level equipment and develop the finish design in the dark room facility. The students also got the chance to have a look around the rest of the department’s facilities and the wider university campus, helping them to get a feel of what life as a media student is really like.

My team were very impressed with Jemma, Lauren and Noah in their enthusiasm, interest and engagement, they had a really nice afternoon working with them

Sarah Bonner, Senior lecturer

Following the workshop with UoC, the students went to Manchester to experience ‘Sixteen’, an exhibition presented at the Manchester Central Library. The multimedia exhibition asks, ‘What is it like to be sixteen years old now?’ Photographer Craig Easton developed the concept following his work with sixteen year olds at the time of the Scottish Independence Referendum; the first and only time that sixteen year olds were given the vote. He, and other documentary portrait photographers worked with young people from all across the country to make a visual vox pop.
The students were in charge of navigation around Manchester, using Google Maps to locate their destination, as well as hunt down a spot of lunch. The day was ended at Inflatation, an inflatable theme park where students had the chance to conquer the total wipe out red balls and vertical slides.

The next stage of the project will pull together these new photography skills and experiences from the exhibition, to create, organise and host their own public exhibition back in Aspatria; in partnership with Dreamscheme. The students have chosen the theme ‘Old and New Aspatria’ and will be using historic photographs and archived materials of their town, alongside their own work to track both the changes over time and the new things that have remained the same. The students will invite their friends, families, teachers and members of the local community to see to see the work and present their project.

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