During 2013-15 I did a number of workshops for the Ikon gallery’s education department, using photography to drive engagement with the lead art exhibition at that time. These were devised with then-head of education Simon Taylor and mostly fell under their Masterclass strand.

The format was fairly simple. After an introduction from myself to around 10 participants, a curator or member of Ikon’s team would lead the group around the gallery, talking about the work with a particular emphasis on the artist’s process. How did they approach making their work and how did their methodology help them achieve their aims? That sort of thing.

Returning to the classroom we would then discuss how we could apply this way of thinking to our photography. In some cases, such as AK Dolven, we twisted our ideas of “good” photography, defocussing and breaking the rules to achieve new abstractions. In others, such as Hurvin Anderson’s paintings, we absorbed his subject matter to focus our point of view of the world.

Time moved on, staffing changed, and the Masterclasses dried up, but I have fond memories of them.

Abstract Photography Workshop

May 22, 2013
Part of a two day series of workshops undertaken by students from Birmingham Ormiston Academy.

Photography Summer School: Shimabuku

Aug 17, 2013 The first ticketed masterclass I ran, responding to artist Shimabuku’s playful work.

Masterclass: Hurvin Anderson

Oct 5, 2013
Run for the Artists Teacher Scheme, which helps art teachers get back in touch with their creativity, this responded to Anderson’s paintings of landscapes blocked by security apparatus and fencing.

Masterclass: Ironbridge

Oct 14, 2013
Simon Taylor and showed our workshop methodology to staff at a development day at the Ironbridge Gorge chain of museums.

St Basils Art Award

Sep 12, 2014
A collaboration between Ikon and St Basils, a charity combating youth homelessness, using the Art Award scheme to develop skills and confidence. Workshops with a range of artists including myself resulted in an exhibition at Ikon.

Masterclass: AK Dolven

Mar 21, 2015 - Event Page
Responding to the exhibition by AK Dolven participants latched on to her deliberate misuse of cameras to defocus and abstract her films and images, photographing through their plastic lunch packaging.

Masterclass: Fiona Banner

Nov 7, 2015
Run for the Artists Teacher Scheme, responding to the exhibition by Fiona Banner, participants decided to look for language written on the cityscape.