Students picture St Helier’s future with landmark art project

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THE results of a landmark community arts and education project involving a group of A-level photography students on the theme of the future of St Helier have been published in a special supplement in your JEP.

The supplement is published in Monday's Jersey Evening Post

More than 40 students from Hautlieu School have spent the summer exploring St Helier’s built environment, urban living, diverse communities, town planning, land use and regeneration projects through research and photography.

Under the direction of Martin Toft, photography teacher at Hautlieu School, and in collaboration with Archisle – The Jersey Contemporary Photography Programme – the project began on 12 June at the Société Jersiaise, where students engaged passionately in discussions about past and present town developments.

They also took inspiration from talks by photo-archivist Gareth Syvret, Lewis Bush, the 2018 Archisle International Photographer-in-Residence, Lee Henry, managing director of Jersey Development Company and Kevin Pilley, director of policy, projects and the historic environment at the States.

The students researched historical town records and the current review of the Future of St Helier, and analysed images from collections in the Société Jersiaise Photographic Archive of the work of Ernest Baudoux, Albert Smith, Francis Foot and Percival Dunham depicting St Helier town and life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

After learning how to construct a visual story using images from their photo shoots in town, each student designed 16 pages of work and their best images have been selected for the supplement.

Martin Toft said: ‘Hopefully, the images presented here in the enclosed supplement will engender a renewed debate in the States of Jersey and among its various stakeholders in working towards delivering a sustainable and vibrant vision for the Island’s capital and its citizens who either live, work in or visit St Helier.’

The students’ work, which is sponsored by Jersey Development Company and Camerons Limited, is part of a five-year project between Mr Toft and Archisle, using photography, film and archival research to tell the story of Jersey’s economic growth and development in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Mr Toft, who has an MA in Fine Art from the University of Portsmouth, added: ‘The Masterplan community arts and education project has given young people an opportunity to use photography as a tool to communicate how they feel about the future of St Helier.’

Each student is currently completing the design of a 16-page zine that will be exhibited at the 2018 Guernsey Photography Festival on Saturday.

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David Edbrooke

By David Edbrooke


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