Bodies is a photography based project that was devised and led by young apprentice Bethan Goodhead during a two week intensive arts apprenticeship at Site Gallery. The project grew out of Bethan’s interest in using her new skills in digital editing to play on our perception of photography as a document of truth.
As part of her apprenticeship Bethan was introduced to the surreal photo composites of artists like Gregory Crewdson and Loretta Lux and was struck by how clever staging and subtle image editing could change the way a photograph is read. Bethan explored these ideas by taking a series of casual shots of people going about their everyday lives in crowded locations. Using the same composition with the use of a tripod, she then instructed fellow apprentices to pose ‘dead’ in each of the different shots so that she could later edit together these two conflicting moments. The results are a set of surreal composite images that encourage the viewer to question narrative and social behaviour.
Bodies and three other assignments undertaken by Bethan during her apprenticeship will be entered for a Bronze Arts Award qualification in autumn 2010. The Arts Award is a flexible, independent qualification set up by Trinity College London and the Arts Council England to support young people who want to deepen their engagement with the arts, build creative and leadership skills, and achieve a national qualification.
Site Young Apprentice Scheme [SYAS] gives 14 to 21 year olds the opportunity to work more closely with the gallery on a variety of creative activities such as being part of the decision making process for commissioning new work.
In July 2010 the gallery piloted an intensive two week apprenticeship for eight young people [14 – 17] as a vocational extension of the SYAS. The pilot offered a practical insight into careers in the contemporary art sector through a range of exciting assignments and artists’ talks. Apprentices developed creative, media and workplace skills in a ‘real work’ style environment and led their own creative projects while working towards an Arts Award qualification and gaining a written reference outlining their achievements.