Beyond The Lens: A contemporary response to the Derek Evans archive

Media Mentors

Hi all and a Merry Christmas!  Hopefully you’ve all had the chance to read our latest SHYPPing Forecast newsletter and have found out about what SHYPP have been up to over the last few months.  One highlight has been the opening of our Beyond The Lens Exhibition: A contemporary response to the Derek Evans archive, open until the 8th January.  Special thanks to Catcher Media who provided access to their Herefordshire Life Behind The Lens Project (Derek Evans archive) and The Courtyard for hosting our very ambitious vertical exhibition that aims to challenge the traditional presentation of art and photography.  Read the blog post below by Tori, a young  person involved in creating work for the exhibition.

Thanks! Kie

Blog post by Tori

I have really enjoyed my whole experience working on the Beyond The Lens: response to the Derek Evans Archive.

In Herefordshire Derek Evans was well known for his black and white photography, his  reportage and own experiences in images of Herefordshire capturing many treasurable moments.  Often his photographs show people around the county exploring and capturing peaceful atmospheres and people working with beautiful countryside that produces the nicest fresh fruit and hops for refreshments and other purposes.

I thought it was fun studying Derek Evans, I found it very challenging when thinking about the choices of images to work with as from them I wanted to select images that would create meaning for people to unfold and explore with an emotion connection to what they see.

I enjoyed working and learning some new techniques which helped me work independently on a piece of my own work, I found it very interesting to experiment with different surfaces and building up layers beneath to reveal an image coming through the paper to create texture beneath, this worked well to converge one image to the next. It was almost like seeing Hereford at different perspectives that are eye would be easily drawn into all the best heartfelt moments in its time.

The exhibition opening itself was an outstanding experience of my life, to see so many faces around me gazing their eyes up and down at our work was a great feeling.  It was nice for people to ask and questions about the project and what it was all about and how we got inspiration, so it was rewarding to explain our journey of experiences and how we got very far with our success and achievements we had put together over the following weeks that had passed. The work that got selected was a pleasure to be put up in Hereford’s biggest and most popular theatre where thousands of feet walk through.

I thought it was amazing to have feedback from the public which makes you realise your own success in something you enjoy they make you feel empowered from their words, it makes you wonder about what other opportunities there are in store, it almost makes you feel a sense that you can be unstoppable and can go beyond even your very best when you bring a positive attitude towards the project and the creation of art.



Media Mentors


2 sessions in to our Flatpack Festival supported Short Film Mini Festival!  This is us getting to grips with film terminology, genres and styles with Paul from Flatpack doing a class job at making non of it boring!  Loads of exciting ideas for the theme for the event that will take place in November in Hereford – more soon!!!

Next batch of Arts Awards underway!

Media Mentors



This morning we were at Hereford MAKE looking at the works of Jackson Pollock. Born in Wyoming in 1912, he was an American painter known for the abstract expressionist movement and his drip painting.

We decided to experiment with Pollock’s technique and make our own pieces of work. Using paints straight from the bottles, brushes etc, we covered paper in multi-colour producing a range of our own artwork using Pollock’s method.


I really enjoyed today as it was really enjoyable. Doing this experiment, I found a new style of art.


For me today has been really fun; to begin with there’s been so many types of art that I have already tried. I struggle to do new things but today I got the opportunity to do something I had never done before by being so active in my artwork, I also feel that it was a lot more passionate than a lot of other ways. I would usually paint as it had all my energy put into it and I loved seeing how mad and colourful not just mine but all the finished work was and how different they all were. I think I have learnt from this experience about my own style and what I like. I am inspired to do more pieces in the same or a similar style.

Thanks for reading – more soon!


#WhereAmI? Exhibition 1st August to 20th October 2017 at the Courtyard Hereford

Media Mentors

Where Am I?  Is an exploration of self and identity, place and environment, journeys and stories.

For our summer project, we teamed up with Jaime Jackson from New Leaf and the Treeline project and James Baker from Hereford MAKE to devise a new exhibition currently underway at the Courtyard Hereford in the excellent Gallery space (on the top floor).

We developed the concept earlier in the year following our last exhibition which focussed on our connection to the earth and environment as way to tell personal stories.  This time young people were challenged to think about their past, present and future either either on a personal level or collectively.

We planned a series of research sessions which included workshops and visits.  The facilities at Hereford MAKE provided us with opportunities to use different tools, machinery and techniques which opened up creative processes.  There was a continuous push to support and develop ideas almost without limitation, which was both liberating and challenging.  The results however, speak for themselves…please do visit and comment if you get the chance and share across social media.

The exhibition runs till the 31st August.

Below are some remarks from a few of the  11 young people who took part.

Thanks for reading!




Doing this project has helped me to lear how to use varying art forms including using Photoshop.  Being able to brainstorm with others enabled me to communicate ideas.

Was amazed to see my work displayed for the public to see and to see my final pieces transform into art.

I have always enjoyed being creative and using different art forms therefore doing this project has enabled me to convert expressions into art.

I would really like to do more projects as I have met a lot of new people and been able to use my creativity more frequently.

I would love to explore lots of different topics such as music, photography, film making and editing.

SOPHIE ____________________________________________________________________

I literally feel like Ive got my life back – Im stronger and more confident.  Im proud of what I’ve done, I never thought I could do anything arty,  Im inspired to do more, to sing more and smile more!  I feel lie I can face the world again without being scared or worried about what people think or what they say about me.



By doing this project I have gained more confidence in myself.  I have found that its not not as hard talking to people as I thought, and that I am a lot more confident in my behaviour and feelings.  For me the highlight of the project was being able to express my feelings through a painting and to then get the opportunity to display and share that piece with the public.  By being creative I have learned that even if you put specific thoughts and emotion into a piece others who vie wit will always differently and take from it what is relevant to them which is completely ok, which is a reason why art is so effective.

Im feeling really inspired to do more after this project.  I would like to do more projects similar to this one, and feel that after this I have a lot more ideas That I can work on developing and tweaking.  I want to develop the ideas I have but put them into a different kind of media and try to step out of my comfort zone to something I haven’t done before.



Ive gained a lot of confidence from doing this project, I have gained life skills towards my career direction. I feel more able to use photoshop.  I feel it has made a big impact on the work I have already done as I am getting recognised more through social media, it has also been great and so overwhelming to see my dream come true of displaying my work to so many people.I have developed my artistic knowledge of thinking more about different materials, machinery, tools and objects and just how exciting film can be to set a mood and an atmosphere.  Im really inspired to do more photography and to learn more about film, light painting and other new techniques.  What I hope to do next is to continue developing my skills and I already have learned to keep getting better to create more pieces  of work to show people.


WHERE AM I? Mixed Visual Arts exhibition @courtyardarts Hereford August 2017

Media Mentors

Where Am I is an exploration of self and identity, place and environment, journeys and stories.  Young people have found ways to articulate their voice relating to subjects that matter to them including from activism/campaigning to mental health.  Young people have been provided  with the freedom to interpret their own meaning of the theme resulting in varied mixed visual arts pieces.

The exhibition is a showcase of young talent, following meaningful creative experiences engaging in the mediaSHYPP project, supported by artist Jaime Jackson from Salt Road as part of the Treeline Project and Levi Cook local artist.

Read a few comments from some of the artists below and please come to the exhibition throughout August at The Courtyard Hereford.

Sophie Lyons

I have been working with mediaSHYPP for a long time now and its been great.  My work for the Where Am I? project is a description of who i am and how i have grown.  Ive chosen to mix differing art forms to reflect the development of my creativity.  This exhibition gives myself and others the opportunity to show our work to the public and I have enjoyed working on my final pieces.

Tori Simms 

My interpretation of the theme ‘Where I am?’ has been explored through my perspective of reality and a fantasy in past and present.  Images have been converged into thoughts and flashbacks grounded in what I see as a dream like world enclosed by the surrounding natural world.

Jarrod McCracken

I wanted to explore fluidity within movement and nature – my work is about the natural curves and textures of life.  I want my work to reflect elements of life change sinking loss and mourning.  Ive really enjoyed working with larger scale pieces.

Katie Whitelock

After recently moving on into my own accommodation following support from SHYPP I was interested find ways to highlight some of the issues relating to homelessness.  In particular I became aware of the Hidden Homeless term which I used to develop my interactive piece one relation to social media.


Exploring our past and looking to our futures

Media Mentors

Recently we have seen how giving young people the space and support to use creative writing to share their thoughts has had beautiful and moving results.  Toni Cook has written a guest blog which explains what happens in our writers group, which she leads.

‘Its difficult to quantify the impact that the writers group is having on the young people without sounding evangelical! The fact that the lowest number we have had is perhaps 5 young people speaks for itself. 

The group has a range of personalities and a massive range of confidence and ability. The young people are all incredibly generous to each other in their praise and reactions to each others work. Mellissa said today,” I keep thinking that this will be the week that I wont be amazed by something someone has written, that my jaw wont drop, but each week it happens, someone amazes me with what they have written.”

The young people are using writing to explore both their past experiences but also looking to their futures. We have work about anxiety, witnessing domestic abuse, pregnancy, harming, alcohol, depression that are all really strong pieces of writing but at the same time cathartic for the young people. We are discussing issues openly and not hiding from them. People are finding connections with each other through the workshops. We are also writing ridiculous stuff that makes us laugh too. 

The impact of being creative, being self aware and sharing work has been incredible so far. Within the range of tasks I have set there have been lots of different ways of challenging the young people. Some activities have been awkward, time pressured, required good listening skills, needing humour, exploring empathy.

The main area where improvement has been extraordinary is confidence. At the start of these sessions some young people refused to read aloud in front of anyone and I had to read their work for them. People were quaking, shakey and over conscious of their content. This has all shifted. People are now reading aloud in front of the group and starting to perform rather than just read. Some have experimented with writing humour which has been delightful and they have been pleased to receive  praise for something that isn’t deep/ personal. Others continues to delight us all with their writing and confidence development. They are becoming more self aware and sensitive and write BRILLIANTLY.  

The development shown over 8-10 weeks has been immense. The support for each other is wonderful.’ – Toni Cook, 

Our next 2 performances including young people from Close House Projects and led by Toni Cook will take place as follows

Poetry and film showcase

27th June 6pm-7pm Herefordshire Libraries Book Festival

Hereford Library, Hereford.  Box office 01432 383600

Epic Youth/Two Kids Lost

8th July 3pm-5pm Ledbury Poetry Festival

Market Theatre, Ledbury. Box office 01531 636232

Both event are ticketed but free, don’t miss out.

Read our blog about My Voice to see one of our latest performances that has creative wiring at its core.

Our film for About Face Theatre

Media Mentors

We love working with the guys from About Face Theatre, and mediaSHYPP have had the opportunity to make a short film that explores how being a part of About Face has an impact on the lives of the actors.  It was great fun making the film, take a look and see what they do.

About Face Theatre is a professional theatre company for adults with learning disabilities led by Artistic Director, Jess MacKenzie.  Its is a part of the ECHO charity:


An exhibition by brilliant young women

Media Mentors

Reflections is an exhibition that mediaSHYPP have provided photography and film for. Its been led by Toni Cook who has worked with young women from St David’s Pupil Referral Unit to examine their identity and self image. Its been great working with Toni, everyone from St Davids and The Courtyard. These brilliant young women have given us a great insight into their lives, the finished work is stunning.

The exhibition is running for 6 weeks in March and April in The Gallery at The Courtyard Hereford . Let us know what you think.

“Reflections has been a great opportunity for the pupils from St Davids to be playful, examining how they look and how they want to be perceived. They have written some beautiful poetry to explore their feelings”.

This project has been funded by West Mercia PCC