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These photos were produced by young people taking part in a City Arts Express Yourself project in Newstead, Nottinghamshire. Between January and May 2013, artist Jo Wheeler visited Newstead Youth Centre to work with young people aged 13 – 19.
Jo began by interviewing the young people to find out about their interests and their relationship with the village. The responses about Newstead were mixed. Several of the young people belived that the older people in the village didn’t think too much of them. From this, ideas developed about how the project could help showcase the young people’s capabilities and allow them to contribute something positive to their community.
The group first played with ideas of maps and place, projecting different maps of Newstead onto each other. This grew into an idea of mapping the immediate environment, starting with the youth club itself. A collaborative map of the building grew. Young people tried to map the centre in different ways, using colour, sound, smells and patterns.
Disposable cameras were given out to the young people. Their brief was to use the camera over the course of a week to photograph the positive, meaningful and beautiful things and places around them. Using a portable printer, pins and luggage tags the images were plotted onto a large map of Newstead.
On the 11th May the project and youth club set up displays to contribute to the Future Newstead Community Celebration at the Newstead Centre. 40 of the young people’s framed photographs were displayed along with the large Newstead map inviting the public to contribute and plot their favourite places on the map too.
The Express Yourself programme provides high quality arts experiences for vulnerable young people in the Gedling area of Nottingham. It is suitable for people aged 13 to 17 year who are affected by emotional health and wellbeing issues, self-harm, eating disorders, autism and other social-communication difficulties. Find out more about the Express Yourself programme.