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The old JCG building in focus

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Exhibition of pictures of the former school prior to the start of development work on College Gardens to open in St Helier

The result of a unique photographic project to document the former Jersey College for Girls building can be seen in an exhibition that opens tomorrow at CCASM Modern & Contemporary Art Gallery in Sommerville House, Philips Street.

Amsterdam-based photographer Stacey Yates was commissioned by the Jersey Development Company to explore, record and archive the former 19th century college building before work began to convert the splendid Victorian edifice into residential apartments.

The exhibition comprises a series of 18 prints as well as a looped video presentation that will explain the project in more detail. The show also features an exhibition catalogue that contains a special section on the Dome where every student signed their name on their last school day.

Ms Yates – a former Beaulieu pupil – is a photographer and director who has exhibited across the UK and Europe and works with a number of organisations including The BBC, The International School in Amsterdam, Philips, Channel 4 and The Mayor of London.

Ms Yates was delighted with the results of the project and said: ‘I’m very proud to be able to show this work at CCASM gallery supported by the JDC. It addresses not only the building, but also the history of women’s education and this building’s role within that exactly 100 years on from when (some) women were finally granted the right to vote.’

A book titled Absent Presence – a college for girls, has also been produced from the photographer’s work and will be available at the exhibition. In it, the social importance of the building is explored, touching on not just the architecture, but also as a place created out of a desire to educate, inspire and support a culture of strong, confident women in an era of gender inequality.

The book, illustrated with a selection of the photographs, includes interviews by writer and former JCG student Hannah Patterson conducted with Ms Yates and with associate at Axis Mason architects Siobhann Macleod, also a former JCG student.

Jersey Development Company managing director Lee Henry outlined the importance of the JCG building and the photographic project and said: ‘We have never doubted the architectural and nostalgic value of the former JCG building. We have done all that we can to preserve its history and past by relocating the magnificent oak panelled library to the current JCG at Mont Millais, restoring the original staircases and façade, as well as commissioning this photographic exhibition. I hope as many people as possible that were connected with the college, take the time to visit this exhibition. I’d also like to thank Stacey for producing these outstanding photographs.

  • The exhibition runs daily between 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays, until 21 July.

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