The project aimed to engage Year 9 Middlesbrough-based school pupils in creating a multi-media digital arts installation, to run in the University of Teesside’s Octorama.
The theme for the exhibition was ‘Dreams, Hopes and Wishes’ and pupils worked on the project using voices, music, images and animation to create an immersive experience within the octagonal installation. The exhibition took place at their school in March 2008 and received hundreds of visitors.
The Head of Art and Design at the school wanted to provide something that would be challenging, inspirational and rewarding with a high profile for the students. The Community Media Coordinator from The Institute of Digital Innovation at Teesside University supported the pupils to make a decision on the theme of their exhibition. At the time they were studying the work of the surrealists and they suggested, and agreed upon the theme of Dreams. A theme which reflected their individual aspirations and their current school based work.
Enthusiastic about the collaborative nature of the projects, the group worked towards a common goal rather than more individualised tasks. The Dreams blog, documents the young people’s enjoyment of sharing their project ideas with members of the public.
“We got asked many questions and the public were willing to help us in our project with open days and workshops to help us to create the images and audio. I am very happy and I think we could create all the 5000 pictures we need they were very helpful and they are trying to get many more schools and communities [involved] and I am confident we will complete this project.” (Mark)
One of the most common themes to emerge was one of pride; the students were proud of their individual contributions, and also of the collective ability to produce a piece of work that contributed successfully to their school’s identity within the local community.
Project participants were delighted by the positive comments from visitors and felt that they had personally gained from participation in the project.
http://www.tvcm.co.uk/AV/dhandw.wmv Video of the build and exhibition content
http://www.tvcm.co.uk/AV/oremsby_voices.wmv Interviews with participants