Project Focal Point is a collaborative project between Edinburgh University Photography Society and the dissertation research project of me, Lauren Bassam.
Its aim is provide Stenhouse Primary School, in out skirts of Edinburgh, with an after school photography club for its Primary 6 and 7 Students (those aged between 9-11) for a 6-8 week period this Autumn term. The club will entail a weekly wednesday meeting between 3:30 and 5:15 in which students will be taught how to express themselves creatively using cameras and the medium of photography. We will look at topics diverse as light painting, pinhole, portraiture, creating images on sun-light sensitive paper as well as teaching the children how to use a variety of different styles of camera and create their own digital images and projects.
We hope to encourage artistic expression in the children and help them use photography as a means to explore self-expression, but above all to have fun and learn new creative skills. We are also taking the children to visit a local gallery and experience the joys of darkroom developing and black and white photography hands on.
The final outcome of the project will be an exhibition of the children's work that will run alongside work of University of Edinburgh's own photography societies annual competition. This exhibition will hopefully be displayed at local community arts centre and will have its own special opening night, which the children will be invited to attend.
It will be run by a group of volunteers from the University and will lean apon the photography society to provide equipment and expertise, whose members are giving up their own time and effort to participate.
The Project needs help funding the cost of buying and developing any films the children shoot, any additional photographic papers, or specialist (child friendly) equipment we may need as well as help framing and printing the students work ready for the final exhibition. £500 should cover all these costs, whilst also allowing us to cover any additional training and documentation the volunteers may need to work with children.
It is a great opportunity to give kids, most of whom would never have access to this kind of specialist skills, teaching and equipment or been been the space to explore creativity in this way, a chance experience these things first hand. Most likely they will also have never visited a gallery before, or had their work displayed publicly at an important public building.
This project also helps to bring the community closer together, by linking students from the university with the primary school, parliament and local gallery staff. Please help to fund this exciting artistic adventure which benefits so many in so many different ways.