8th June 2019: New Focus at Treasures of the Brotherton

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Thanks to funding from Treasures of the Brotherton, on the 8thof June, we had the opportunity to explore the Special Collections at the University of Leeds. We were able to have a look through the archives and investigate posters, newspapers, magazines and photographs about Greenham common.

Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp was created by women in the 1980s as a response to nuclear weapons being placed in Greenham common, which was a RAF base. This was one of the biggest peaceful protests in the world, and it was run entirely by women for over 10 years. It was amazing that this was done during a time where usually, women’s voices were not heard, and inspirational to us that they were so powerful and made a huge impact, and that this was all done peacefully. It was very clear that they were determined to make a difference, and they were able to do this.

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During our trip to the archive, and through looking at the materials from the 80s, we learned a lot about Greenham common. We were able to take a lot of information in from the magazines and posters, but what stood out to everyone the most was the collection of personal photographs taken by the protesters themselves. By looking through the photo album, we were able to feel more connected with the protesters and have a different view and understanding of the protests. It was a unique experience to be able to see the true side of the protest, rather than what was written in magazines and newspapers.

“What these small things did was strangely intimate; they gave them the sense, as they picked them up and turned them in their fingers, of another person, an unknown person a long time ago, who had held that object in their hands. You don’t know anything about them, but you feel the other person’s there…It’s like all the years between you and them disappear. Like you become them, somehow”.

 

  • Helen Macdonald, H for Hawk

 

For me, there was one photograph from the album that I found the most inspiring. The photograph showed the protestors sitting in their camp, in front of a fence containing policemen. The most important thing in this photograph, for me, was that there were many posters stuck on fences with the statement ‘put people first’. This stood out to me because of the simplicity of the message, to simply think about the impact of nuclear weapons on people’s lives. I think that posters like this could be used with the same impact today, and could refer to many things in our current lives e.g. the Women’s March, anti-war demonstrations etc.

 

All in all, the trip was very interesting and thought provoking! It was amazing to be able to get an insight into the lives of such an impactful and inspirational group of women.

Review by Aamna Fardous

Kanwal’s New Focus story

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Hi guys! I’m Kanwal I joined New Focus Impressions Gallery’s young people’s collective when I was 19!

I wanted to join because I discovered my passion for Art in Bradford after I moved here from the Netherlands in 2010. I really enjoyed visiting Impressions Gallery when I started studying art, which is why it holds a very special place for me. Bradford has been a place of growth for me in many ways that is why I was looking forward to joining New Focus.

New Focus has given me confidence in working within the creative community of Bradford. The most exciting thing about New Focus is I am one of the first people to find out about new exhibitions and meet Artists! I got the opportunity to interview Chloe Dewe Mathews and create a short film for her exhibition ‘In Search of Frankenstein’ that was also displayed in Pictureville Cinema at the National Science and Media Museum

I would totally recommend New Focus it is very welcoming and all the Impressions Gallery staff are very lovely and always willing to help. The environment is comfortable and everyone has input to suggestions or ideas. It is great it many ways; creative and outside it.

Fancy joining our team? Are you aged 16-25, do you live, work or study in Bradford? Join our team today, find out more here http://www.impressions-gallery.com/news/news.php?id=214

Nazish’s New Focus story

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Hi Guys! I’m Nazish I joined New Focus Impressions Gallery’s young people’s collective when I was 16. I joined New Focus because I wanted to try something new and do activities outside of my comfort zone.
I have met some amazing people. I have learnt loads about photography and the experiences of women during the First World War. I now understand the story of the First World War through the eyes of women, and got the chance to work in a team to create an amazing book exploring this!

Why would you recommend New Focus to others?

New Focus allows you to gain a variety of new skills, make new friends and be part of something bigger! It’s also a place where you can enjoy yourself and have fun!

Fancy joining our team? Are you aged 16 – 25, do you live, work or study in Bradford? Want to meet artists, work with local families and run exciting creative projects with Impressions Gallery. Find out more here, application deadline 25 February http://www.impressions-gallery.com/news/news.php?id=214

Ione’s New Focus story

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Hi I’m Ione and I joined New Focus in 2016 when I was 16. New Focus has given me a new focus in life, being part of New Focus has been paramount in the growth of my confidence, and I’ve gradually felt more able to put myself into situations I otherwise wouldn’t have considered. New Focus allowed me to express myself outside of school and I’ve suddenly realised I have many more skills and qualities than I thought I had. Playing a key part in creating a book was the perfect opportunity to uncover those skills. The No Man’s Land Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots project was an amazing experience!

Fancy joining our team? Are you aged 16 – 25, do you live, work or study in Bradford? Want to meet artists and run exciting creative projects with Impressions Gallery. Find out more here, application deadline 25 February http://www.impressions-gallery.com/news/news.php?id=214

Rowen’s New Focus story

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Hi Guys! I’m Rowen I joined New Focus, Impression Gallery’s young people’s collective when I was 19. I think New Focus is a great way to be involved in something bigger. There are a lot of exciting opportunities that come along if you are part of the group and it’s nice to be involved with something like this.

Are you aged 16 – 25, do you live, work or study in Bradford? Do you fancy joining our team? To find out more email newfocus@impressions-gallery.com or get in touch via social media before the 20 February.

For more info visit Impressions Gallery’s website here http://www.impressions-gallery.com/news/news.php?id=214

Sonal’s New Focus story

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Hi guys! My name is Sonal Mistry and I am an alumni of New Focus, Impressions Gallery’s young people’s group.

I joined New Focus in 2014 to help broaden my knowledge into the creative arts. I was encouraged by my art teacher to gain some experience within galleries over my summer holidays so I approached Impressions Gallery, and have been part of the group since then.

I have learnt a lot from being part of New Focus. New Focus has allowed me to develop as a person, I have become more confident and gained a lot of skills within working in a gallery environment. During my time, I have worked on a lot of events and projects, with No Man’s Land being my most favourite. It was amazing to be given the opportunity to visit Evolution Print, the company which was used to print our publications as I love printmaking and am a printmaker myself. I am very grateful to have been part of New Focus as it has helped me advance within the creative environment as I now work for Tate Liverpool whilst being at University in the city.

I would highly recommend New Focus as it has given me a better understanding of the creative field and how galleries are run. I have grown as a person and developed creatively whilst being on New Focus. So, if you want to learn new skills and pursue your passion within the creative field I would definitely recommend joining this amazing group.

There’s only four days left to send in your application, so if you’re interested in joining New Focus then you can find more information here http://www.impressions-gallery.com/news/news.php?id=214

Megan’s New Focus story

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Hi I’m Megan and I joined New Focus last year.

My art tutor from Bradford college had mentioned New Focus and how it would be helpful towards my degree. I was curious and wanted to see what type of group New Focus is.

With the design of the recruitment poster, I was able to take some photos of the New Focus members in the photo studio in Bradford college with my friend Natalie and it’s great to see that they’ve been used in the final design.

It’s given me extra experience outside of my course and it’s worth to check out who is involved and how it can develop your own skills.

Fancy joining our team? Are you aged 16-25, do you live, work or study in Bradford? Join our team today, find out more here http://www.impressions-gallery.com/news/news.php?id=214