Change Is Coming: An exhibition by Sandwell College Photography students
Change is Coming invited Sandwell College Photography students to consider their relationship with nature and how they might find solace in a patch of green.
Working with photographer Kate Green, the students took part in photography workshops and creative writing sessions in order to explore how they felt about their local area. Attending a guided walk with The Wildlife Trust, the students photographed and wrote down what they experienced, culminating in an exhibition on West Bromwich High Street which showcased some of their work, alongside poems from Sandwell Visually Impaired Members and Black Country poets, plus a few wildlife fun facts.
The exhibition title Change Is Coming was inspired by the words of the students and their eagerness to see change in how the environment is treated and cared for. The exhibition was in the form of paste-ups. Working with artist Vik Chandla, the students pasted up posters featuring their photographs onto hoardings located in West Bromwich High Street. The result was a visually engaging display that attempted to follow a more sustainable exhibition practice, with the hope passers by would be inspired to observe the nature and environment around them.
This page documents some of the photographs and words of the students.
The project is part of the Green Roots Cultural Programme that Multistory is delivering through the West Bromwich Urban Greening Scheme. This is a Sandwell Council initiative, funded by the Town’s Fund Partnership, that will increase biodiversity on the high street and create a green walking route to Sandwell Valley.
Putting art and creativity at its heart, Green Roots is providing inclusive opportunities for communities and groups local to West Bromwich to have greater engagement in, and knowledge about, the natural capacity of the town centre and will offer training and apprenticeships.
Thanks to: The Wildlife Trust and RSPB for providing the fun facts; poets Emma Purshouse, Roy McFarlane, RM Francis plus Sandwell Visually Impaired Members and Lee Mackenzie for sharing their poems; the fantastic Level 3 Photography students (Rebecca Aldridge, Noah Banks, Rylee Butler, Samuel Edwards, Holly Hill, Kashaylah Jarvis, Ben Keeling, Jaiden McBean, Namita Ram, Yasmin Robinson, Tesheena Solomon and Madison Warren-White) and John Edwards at Sandwell College; Malikah Holder for the graphic design of the exhibition; Vik Chandla for assistance with installation; and Josh Singh from Sandwell Council for continued support and collaboration.
My photographs capture moments in West Bromwich High Street that I have found visually interesting. I enjoy taking close up personal shots, making my images more intriguing and open to interpretation.
I enjoy photographing natural forms and my journey along West Bromwich High Street sought out colour and shape. I find the complexity of shape, form and colour fascinating and this forms the main focal point within my photographs.
Everyday objects and the banal, things and items often over looked, I found interesting to photograph and through my images I try to elevate them to make them more interesting to the viewer. Walking down West Bromwich High Street I have provided a glimpse into the everyday items so often overlooked as we go about our busy daily lives.
I have approached my photography of West Bromwich High Street through exploring different photographic techniques. In doing so I have strived to make the familiar and everyday visually more interesting and hopefully made the viewer look at the High Street from a different perspective.
My photographs are close details of nature, they look at the complexity of form, and how fragile nature can be and how it manages to survive in what can be the chaotic nature of a typical British High Street.
In my photography I have taken close up images that explore shape, form and texture, with each image capturing elements of growth, resilience and decay. The close-up nature of my photography adds ambiguity with the intention of making the viewer question what he is seeing.
I have explored different views of the High Street, I have been influenced by the way people complain about how boring West Bromwich High Street looks, but if you look around you, be observant, you can find perspectives that make it look more interesting.
Rylee explores abstract shapes, forms and textures of the High Street, the juxtaposition of angles, colours and form create unique perspectives and ways of seeing the everyday in a different light.
My photographs look at aspects of pollution with in the environment around us, the detritus in the tree shows neglect, whilst the nodules on the tree are typical of tree growth in an area subject to high vehicle use and pollution. These two images are juxtaposed against Crocus in spring and the hope of change for the future.
I have explored the complex details of natural objects, found whilst exploring the High Street, things we see but don’t actually look at in detail, taking time to see their detail and beauty. The close-up details of shape, form, texture and colour makes use look at these everyday forms in away a different way, making us stop and pause and hopefully admire the beauty of the world around us.
I have selected three outstanding images that capture people going about their everyday lives in West Bromwich High Street. My photographs approach this from different perspectives of someone living in West Bromwich.