Short Film Showcase at Borderlines Film Festival 2019!

Media Mentors

Following on from our curated short film showcase at the B2 festival last year, Borderlines Film Festival approached us to do the same again at the main festival.  We put togther a selection of thought provoking, challenging, funny, sad and strange(!) films which we showcased at the Courtyard Studio yesterday to and audience of over 50 people!  We also used the opportunity to share about SHYPPs work and our next exhibition project – outdoor exhibition in Queenswood in April…

“Over a period of a few weeks we selected a number of short films to be compiled and shown within the Borderlines Film Festival. We felt “Dinner For Few” was particularly apt in the modern political climate and illustrated a seemingly inescapable cycle set in motion by those in authority. The graphic visual imagery and multiple layers of meaning worked together to create a strong impact on the audience and potentially challenge views or open minds to look at the ‘system’ more objectively – something which is increasingly important in the present day when many find it easier to close their minds out of fear.

“The Cat Piano” was similarly dark themed but had greater emphasis on spoken language in co-ordanance with fast moving graphic. We particularly liked the eloquence and poetic qualities as well as the contrasting style of animation the film possessed.

Two of us elected to stand up before the screening of the films we chose in order to talk about what we were there to show. There were about 60 people in the audience and it was very nerve-wracking standing up in front of so many people. Nevertheless, we were able to do it successfully. After the screening we spoke again about mediaSHYPP’S upcoming events – this time we felt more comfortable speaking because we had already done it once. In the end we were both glad we chose to do this because we are so passionate about the work we do both independently and with SHYPP”

 

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Being creative at National Trust Berrington Hall

Film and Photography, Spoken word

In January we started the first of 10 sessions at Berrington Hall which will culminate with a live event in March. Participants have “access all areas” guided exploration of the Hall and its grounds and have the opportunity to respond creatively to it through writing with Toni Cook and also through photography and digital media with mediaSHYPP.   This is a repeat of the successful Space to Engage project that took place in Libraries last year.

We will add to this blog regualry with posts from different particapants, so keep check back. Jamie Hutton has recently started volunteering with SHYPP, here is his perspective.

Session 4 – Jamie Hutton

Back underground in the servant’s hall this week, we began by catching up with the National Trust staff, who had sorely missed out on the chance to create limericks and boomerangs the week before. One thing was notable from the start of this session: whereas in previous weeks there had been a clear, if somewhat coincidental, divide around the table, with SHYPP young people at one end and the National Trust at the other, this week where was clear integration, as both groups sat amongst each other around the dining table. This breaking down of any boundaries was evident throughout the whole session, and the divide between the two groups seems to have melted away already.

We were given more time to expand ideas this week, writing as a foursome, a mix of myself, two SHYPP young people and a National Trust volunteer. It was amazing the amount of innovative creativity that presented itself so quickly, and how fully formed these ideas came out, with both SHYPP and National Trust keenly observing the gap between rich and poor that Berrington Hall had shown us and how it had mutated, but was still relevant, today. The idea of writing across different characters through time was kicked back and forth and will hopefully produce some interesting writing in the future, but was ultimately left to one side in order to focus on a task that we could all get behind immediately, a character based comedy that came effortlessly to both SHYPP and National Trust writers. Our original idea may have been more focused on the topics that were presented in our travels around Berrington, but certainly wouldn’t have produced the large swathes of laughter that went around the table as did our courtroom drama of lies, deception (and the odd innuendo).

Following on from this, we finally made our way inside the house this week, and as the doors swung open to present the great entrance hall, it may not have had the immediate impact that was intended. Refurbishments being made to the house mean that the marble floor is covered in plastic sheeting and some of the ornaments have been put into storage, dulling what would have once been, in its prime, a striking introduction to the house. Still, as we stand in the entrance hall a hush gradually descends as we soak in the feel of the building we have been observing from a distance for weeks. Someone mentions the size of the room, that this ‘glorified porch’ as one National Trust worker puts it, is bigger than most rooms in our houses. From here on, the participants seem to view the house with a curious fascination, interrogating it at every opportunity.

As we further explore each room, there’s a lot of talk of ‘vibes’ and ‘impressions’; how each room is making us feel. This clear distinction between the character of each room is a welcome observation from the SHYPP young people and will, I’m sure, provide some interesting writing in the future. As the National Trust explain the history of each room, how it would have been used by the people who lived there, where doors lead and what secrets the architecture holds, SHYPP young people are quick to point out the difference between the men’s and the women’s rooms and the societal divide between the two sexes that seems reflected in the very foundations of the house itself, with bigger, brighter rooms for the men.

The more we explore the clearer it becomes that the restoration work being completed around the house won’t affect our creative responses greatly, if at all: there is simply too much to work on from the general feeling of the house itself.

 

Session 3 – Jamie Hutton

This week we were slowly making our way towards the house itself from the lake and grounds we had explored in the first two weeks, today bringing our attention to the Ha-ha just beyond the driveway and the walled garden not a stone’s throw from the courtyard. For those unfamiliar, a Ha-ha is a small ditch that surrounds the property that is designed to both keep sheep away from the building and be invisible to the naked eye, and this especially was a focal point this week, our first real taste of the physicality of the setting we were attempting to creatively exploit. Some needed little encouragement to get into the ha-ha itself, as we interacted with the environment, becoming fully immersed in it, in a way that would inform the creative responses that followed.

These creative responses took on a myriad of forms this week. With a slightly smaller group, we split up into small teams to battle with limericks, scripts and (very) short film making. Initially, limericks proved harder than first thought, though everyone managed to capture their humorous spirit and comic timing with, again, the slapstick potential of the Ha-ha providing much inspiration. Despite the deceptively tricky structure, the limericks presented more personality than another form of writing we may have done so far, which provided a good introduction for new members and a chance to express a lighter side for others.

As a break from writing we took a trip outside to make a boomerang (a burst of photos stiched together and played forward and backward.). We found more ways of interacting with the surroundings, especially the walled garden and the Ha-ha. Leaps were made, benches used as diving boards and ice was smashed. It was another chance to have fun and also investigate areas of the landscape we hadn’t seen before. At the centre of the walled garden is another creative response to Berrington Hall, the giant pink pineapple which, although of not much interest to our own endeavours, worked as a constant reminder of just how much artistic potential lay in the soil, grass and brickwork that we continued to explore.

‘Secrets’ was a theme that we began to develop this week, inspired by the tucked away benches and concealing hedgerows of the walled garden. This was mainly explored through dialogues and monologues that were written, often detailing secret meetings for all sorts of nefarious activities. This element of drama gave us an opportunity to develop characters and voices as well as be directly inspired by the gardens, imagining where these dastardly meet-ups would be taking place and why they would be taking there at all. Although there was only the chance to write a few pages, it was clear that what lay in those lines everyone had written had the potential to become much more.

Although the third week saw us take on more creative tasks than previously, they were all held together by a unifying sense of humour that ran through all the work that was produced. After detailing the natural beauty of the grounds in previous weeks it was now becoming clear just how funny a big old house on a hill can be.

 

Session 2 – Jamie Hutton

Week two sees a few new faces around the servant’s table beneath Berrington, meaning that more introductions need to be made. Luckily, the task of designing our own islands provides the perfect distillation of character, meaning a quick tour of each persons own personal paradise tells us a lot of what we need to know about them and it isn’t long before certain themes begin to emerge. It seems as though SHYPP young people and National Trust workers alike prefer a bit of solitude, most of the islands focusing on natural setting and sense of isolation, in a positive sense. These similarities mean that any tension is instantly lifted the group integrates quickly as we set our sights on this week’s focus point: The lake.

After the success of last week’s den building there is another attempt at construction with the aim of building either a bridge or a lake. The circumference of the lake didn’t quite provide the building materials that the den building are did however, so certain compromises had to be made, one of which saw two teams coming together to create their own human bridge, a tableau that, with the sun reflecting off the lake behind it, made for a glorious photo.

Wandering around the lake we hunted for creative stimulus to write down once we returned to the warmth of the hall. The sights around the lake provided much of the inspiration, the view of the hall especially giving us a fresh perspective on the building we had been working in. it was great to a National Trust volunteer with us that was so knowledgeable on the area, able to provide an historical context for what we were surrounded by, that influenced the creative ideas.

Once we had gathered around the table, cups of tea in hand, we began writing. To some it came more naturally than others but it wasn’t long until the room was abuzz with the scratch of pen against paper. The freedom to write either prose or poems (and anything in between) meant that the writing produced was perhaps more personal than last week. As we made our way around the table, allowing everyone to read what they had written, there seemed to be genuine delight at the sheer quality of the writing shared, some even garnering a round of applause. This was perhaps the moment where any superficial boundaries between attendees melted away for good, where we saw how the creative process had brought us all to the same artistic conclusions, each with our own personal spin.

We capped things off this week with a go at some haikus. After the freedom of the previous writing exercise it was nice to finish on a bit of structure and it demonstrated once again that, set towards the same goal, every workshop attendee was able to produce something unique and insightful. After our first real pieces of writing it was clear that the standard is high and set to get even higher.

 

Session 1 – Jamie Hutton has recently started volunteering with SHYPP, here is his perspective

Despite its Capability Brown designed landscapes and its National Trust heritage, Berrington Hall remains subject to the elements and a brief spell of rain threatened to disrupt a day of planned exploration of the Hall’s grounds and an attempt at den building

We congregated below ground in the servant’s quarters, the grandeur of the house itself tantalisingly above our heads, to be creatively mined another day. For now, the large table below proved a perfect place for attendees and the Berrington Hall team to come together and soon enough introductions were well underway.

During this, the rain outside miraculously stopped and, although a few did take some persuading, we decided that it was time to roam out into the gardens and down towards the lake. The ground was slightly muddy underfoot and the wind bitterly cold but those of us who were well wrapped were able to descend from the house towards the lake in relative warmth. As we approached the lake there was talk of the nesting birds that called it home, a discussion that fed well into one of the themes of today’s workshop: nests and natural houses.

There was great anticipation of the den building area that we were heading towards, some of the National Trust employees having never seen it before. We were greeted by an impressive looking den leftover from the previous den-builders, one that worked as a benchmark for the design and assembly that was to come.

Splitting up into teams it didn’t take long for the competitive spirit to come out. There were varying approaches to logistics, some seeing the biggest sticks possible as crucial, others opting for more consistency. Debates ensued as to the conceptual idea of den building and what, in the great outdoors, could even be feasibly called a den at all (perhaps we should have asked the nesting birds as we rounded the lake?). Ultimately, what could have been an exercise in manual labour became a much more creative endeavour, allowing us to think outside the box and create our own natural homes.

 

This creativity was pushed further when tasked to design some artwork inspired by the artist Andy Goldsworthy (or Neil Buchanan’s Art Attack, depending on your cultural reference points). What were created were pieces that used a multitude of natural materials from logs to leaves to sticks and stones, to create a dragon, a maze and even a National Trust logo. The competitive edge to the den building fell away and we were all delighted with each other’s efforts and the imagination that had gone into them.

After a very slippery walk back up to the house that provided fantastic views of the surroundings there was only enough time for a brief bit of writing whilst warming up over a cup of tea. Tasked with writing down couplings of words that summed up our building experience many wonderful pieces of writing were created, many from those who had not written much before. Others who opted for more poetic writing were able to conjure up vivid imagery and unique takes on the den building experience, all in such a short space of time. It may have been brief but our first creative exploration provided a great glimpse of what would be to come we explore the site further.

fznor

Walking back to Berrington Hall

 

50 Faces Exhibition, mediaSHYPP and Herefordshire MIND

Media Mentors

Below is from a press release about our current exhibition at The Courtyard, Hereford. Enjoy!

 

“An inspiring art exhibition is challenging perceptions of mental health and homelessness.

 

Our Supported Housing for Young People Project (SHYPP) worked with mental health charity Herefordshire MIND on an exhibition called 50 Faces.

 

The exhibition, displayed at the Courtyard in Hereford, shows the faces of people who are touched by the work of MIND and SHYPP either personally or professionally.

 

Kie Cummings, Media and Training Co-ordinator for SHYPP, said: “We wanted to create something that was fun and spontaneous and since the Courtyard theatre are having their panto season – something a bit theatrical.

 

“The images were taken by young people accessing our arts and media project mediaSHYPP, who also turned the camera on themselves for a few shots. We hope that the diverse cross-section of our joint communities are shown in the portraits and that the faces give a sense of positivity and meaning in recognition of our mental health.”

Herefordshire Mind Manager, Alicia Lawrence, said: “This project was a inspiring piece of partnership work between Herefordshire Mind and the young people of mediaShypp. It is great to raise awareness that everyone experiences mental health and challenge some of the negative perceptions.”

 

B2 Film Festival

Media Mentors

We are really proud to be part of the first B2 Film Festival in partnership with Borderlines Film Festival.  Check out some of the images from our curated short film night “Phrase and Frame” at De Koffee Pot on Thursday 18th Oct and a shot from outside the kiosk at the Old Market in Hereford on Friday 19th Oct, where the festival continued, showing some short films by @flatpackfilmfestival @catchermedia @ruralmedia @animationjamuk @anim18uk check it out! For the rest of the programme visit films

 

MIDWAY BEYOND EXHIBITION

Media Mentors

Midway Beyond

Growth Transition Change

Midway Beyond is a contemporary mixed media exhibition by young people engaging in the mediaSHYPP project part of SHYPP (Supported Housing for Young People Project) taking place in the Gallery at The Courtyard Theatre, Hereford. This unique project connects young people with established artists and practitioners in the exploration of creativity, art and meaning. Following a series of meetings, discussions and workshops, the produced works offer an alternative narrative on art production and youth culture. Young people selected works from the artists, curating the exhibition alongside their own original creative responses.

Young artists

Marcus Brown

Sadie Carter

Heidi Fassam

Ashley Harris

Laura Watkin

Established Artists

James Baker

Levi Cooke

Matias Serra Delmar

Joe Hemming

Simon Meiklejohn

A special thank you to all of the artists for volunteering their time and to James Baker from Hereford MAKE for providing excellent studio facilities to produce the work and to David Durant and staff at the Courtyard for supporting the ongoing development of the project. Please consider following the mediaSHYPP project online by visiting

http://www.mediashypp.co.uk

Consider supporting the ongoing development of the project by becoming a Friend of SHYPP

http://www.sponsorshypp.co.uk
Your comments and feedback are most welcome! Thanks and enjoy!
Kie Cummings

October, 2018
mediaSHYPP
Email: kie.cummings@wmhousing.co.uk

Read artists comments on the project below:

SadieÂ

“It feels strange to see my work up amongst more establish artists, as they have been doing their profession longer than I have. However, I felt a level of achievement to have my work alongside theirs. This made me feel proud of what I managed to produce. Working with the professional artists was great because they gave us great advice that I could use and provided help when we all needed it. They never put us down. They encouraged us to produce work to the best of our ability if not beyond that. I enjoyed the whole project from start to finish, so it’s hard to pinpoint a highlight. however, I did enjoy working with professionals because we could learn different styles from them as they all had different approaches to the art world. I also loved the fact that I had made my own symbols/language up from scratch that only I could understand. This project has made me feel a bit more confident in my ability as an artist and I am looking forward to future projects.”

AH.

“My primary goal was to make a piece that my grandparents would enjoy, the exhibition was a secondary goal but I am pleased the public enjoyed the work I produced. To work with an artist was eye opening and enjoyable. James who taught me the necessary processes to produce my piece was . Practical work was the most enjoyable part, however I enjoyed the creative design and prototype phases of creation. In the future I will learn the required processes and techniques to become a blade smith, thanks to this project I feel like I have gained a decent foothold on the progression path to becoming a Master Blade Smith.”

Levi

“Taking part in this project has been a humbling experience, the quality of the work produced by the young people of SHYPP is outstanding. I have been pushed to think about what makes an artist an artist, what gives them the right, or the credibility, to label themselves as such. One of the most challenging aspects of working with beginner artists is convincing them to just try something new. And after some encouragement, this group has proven to the world and perhaps more importantly themselves, exactly what they are capable of when they step out of their comfort zones and put even just a few weeks of time and effort into something.

If at such an early stage in their creative journey they can produce such original and substantial pieces, how much more could they accomplish with further encouragement and investment from the SHYPP media team?”

Space to Engage Exhibition

Performance
The Space to Engage Exhibition is up and running and at The Courtyard Hereford.
It was great to have the big share on the 12th september where some of the young people involved had the opportunity to perform their work live.
Come along and see what they have created, its open for the rest of September.
The Space to Engage exhibition is the culmination of a yearlong partnership between Herefordshire Libraries, SHYPP and Toni Cook. The project encouraged young people to find their voice by exploring different art forms in community spaces and was hosted by Hereford, Leominster and Ross Libraries. During the weekly sessions young people engaged with a drama practitioner, poet, potter, dancer, photographer and filmmakers to create performance, film and writing. This exhibtion showcases their voices, stories and experiences.
With thanks to
Toni Cook – Artisic lead
mediaSHYPP Project Rich Hankins filmmaking and Kie Cummings photography and exhibition curation
Levi Cooke – Art piences
Jon Williams – Eastnor Pottery
Jonny Fluffypunk – Poet
Lily Horgan – Dancer
Angela, Jon and Steve from Leominster, Hereford and Ross Libraries
Sarah Chedgzoy
Friends of Leominster Library
Peter Holliday
Ross Town Council
Leominster Town Council
Arts Council
The Courtyard Centre for the Arts

A BUSY SUMMER CREATING AND PERFORMING!

Media Mentors

What a few months its been!!!  Following on from our hugely successful performance ‘If You Walked a Mile in My Shoes” young people have performed at Ross library as part of the Space to Engage project which included a portrait exhibition and at Ledbury Poetry Festival, in front of impressive turnout at the largest of the festivals venues!

As part of SHYPP being the Three Choirs Festivals nominated charity http://www.3choirs.org, we were asked to put together a small singing group of staff and young people to perform as part of a larger orchestral performance of Never Failed Me Yet event, an amazing event and experience.

We also had the absolute pleasure of hosting Kate Romano from Goldfield Productions who delivered an shadow puppet workshop that has hugely inspired us!  Do visit her next show on the 4th August, tickets available here https://3choirs.org/whats-on/family-event-three-stories-about-home/

We’ve also been back in the studio @HerefordMAKE working on our next exhibition project “Midway Beyond” more on that soon inspired by the graffiti artist Retna – the work will develop into a larger exhibition product with internationally renowned artists!

More soon!

 

 

 

Mystical Mappa Mundi creatures at The Hereford River Carnival

Media Mentors

 

Not long to wait, its only a few days until the River Carnival on the 4th and 5th May. Here’s a film we made last year for our friends at the River Carnival showing the friday night lantern lit procession. Its on again, Friday May 4th at 8:30pm outside Hereford Cathedral.

Come along for a weekend in, on and around the beautiful River Wye this May Bank Holiday weekend for FREE family fun, live entertainment, the famous Friends of Castle Green dog show, food village, hEnergy village, and of course the street and river processions! If you’d like more information on both days exciting events head over here: bit.ly/2HrgJXy

🌎The World on the Wye🌍

For general information on the carnival check out their social media channels and website:
🐦Twitter: @wyecarnival
📷Instagram: wye_carnival
👍Facebook: River Carnival
💻Website: www.rivercarnival.org.uk

Come and see SHYPP’s next performance showcase

Performance

If You Walked A Mile PUBLIC POSTER

Building on the success of last years My Voice performance, we’ve been back working with Toni Cook, offering all young people who SHYPP work with an opportunity for a creative outlet for their stories. The results have been amazing and on the night the young people will be performing spoken word, showing photography and short films which use their writing at its core. We will also have a Q+A with the young people involved.  Our last performance was a full house so please join us to hear the stories of young people in Herefordshire.