In August 2009 six young offenders took part in a three week photography project aimed at providing them with new skills and creative experiences. As part of the project they were trained to operate digital SLR cameras which they used to create three large artworks under the theme of ‘My Town’.
The scheme, led by fine art photographer Asha Munn, was developed to encourage the participants to consider the positive and negative images associated with the place in which they live. Each participant was entrusted with a camera and asked to act as a recorder, narrating their town as they see it.
In August 2010 a second project took place for a new group of young people, the theme being ‘Me Myself & I’ as a photographic art project that aimed to challenge young offenders through creativity. Exploring the self-portrait encouraged the young people to use the still image to communicate with their audience about how they see themselves.
The intention of the project is to give groups the power to represent themselves and thereby challenge the control of those who may choose to portray the participants in a negative light. It is hoped that by working in this way, the young people involved will begin to see that they have control over how they are perceived.
The projects were developed and delivered by Asha Munn - Eyes Wide Open Photography. It was supported by The Arts Council, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Cape UK and Wakefield Youth Offending Team.
In early 2010 YSP began working with HMP Frankland as one of two gallery partners involved in a Foundation Degree in Fine Art Practice, the only course running in a high security prison in this country. The second partner gallery is Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art. YSP is supporting the course through the delivery of talks and virtual tours, alongside contributions of YSP exhibition catalogues and learning resources.