Images for a giant community photo mosaic celebrating youth and schools in the Upper Dales will be collected over eight weeks, starting on Monday 21 September.
The mosaic of Dales youth is being created by digital artist Helen Marshall of The People’s Picture, whose most recent work was ‘Rainbows for the NHS’. It will consist of 1,000+ pictures of school life in the Dales that will come together to create a whole new image. Hundreds of photos for the mosaic have already been submitted, but it’s hoped that the community will bring forward many more.
The artwork has been commissioned by The NASH and Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes as part of ‘The Story of Schools in the Upper Dales’ – an oral history and research project funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund. The project is delving into the development of schools over time in Upper Wensleydale, Swaledale and Arkengarthdale. It will culminate in a multi-media exhibition at Dales Countryside Museum opening on 30 January 2021, including the big reveal of the mosaic, a short film, display boards, audio recordings and artefacts.
Project Manager Emily Rowe Rawlence says: ‘We want to create a community artwork that celebrates our schools but also the dynamic youth of the Dales from the dawn of photography to now. Do you live in the Upper Dales? Did you go to school here? We’d love to see your pictures about what youth in the Dales means to you. We’d like to amass as many images as possible. Photos can be vintage or modern and feature landscape and buildings as well as people, and artwork and drawings are great too – the more the merrier’.
Education Officer Heather Hodgson says: ‘We’re really looking forward to working with three local primary schools on this project - Reeth & Gunnerside, Hawes and BAWB. With pupils and the wider school community we’ll be collecting as many photos, pictures and drawings as we can. Dig out your old photos, take a new snap, draw a picture, get creative! Despite the Corona pandemic, with digital technology it’s super easy to participate by taking photos on phones and uploading them online, it only takes a moment. We can’t wait to see what people come up with!’.
Members of the public can participate by uploading their images to the project directly at thepeoplespicture.com/storyofschools/
The People’s Picture are experts in visual storytelling and bringing communities together to create, celebrate and own their unique legacy. Previous photo mosaics have ranged from ‘The Face of Suffrage’ marking the 100th anniversary of British women getting the vote to ‘The People’s Moon’, a giant lunar artwork across Times Square and the Kennedy Space Centre, and ‘Rainbows for the NHS’, an interactive ‘mosaic of hope’ made up of thousands of pictures submitted to The People’s Picture during the COVID-19 pandemic. Artist Helen Marshall says: ‘I am proud to be creating artwork for such a special location and community. It is fantastic that our work is exploring and engaging with rural communities and I am looking forward to discovering some of the unique stories and photos that shall unfold as part of the project. I am also especially excited to be visiting and working with The NASH and Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes, and cannot wait to see all the wonderful creative imagery that is generated from the community and schools.’
‘The Story of Schools’ artwork will be on display at Dales Countryside Museum from 30 January to 21 April 2021, and will also feature as part of Swaledale Festival.