A Photographic project at The Bluehouse Darkroom, Kent.
in association with 16Plus Canterbury and Swale


Exhibition Kent County Council City Hall August 5th - 26th 2006.

review articles Kentish Gazette / Herne Bay Times


The Art Organisation (TAO)
TAO objectives show concern for the regeneration of disused property and the introduction of arts to the community. We aim to assist the promotion of our members by providing the opportunity to exhibit and show, use of workshop and rehearsal space, TAO facilities and equipment, and providing access to a network of artists, actors and performers through our website The Art Organisation is registered with Companies House as non-profit. Facilities and equipment are now made use of in the community for education through the arts and members work to create and introduce new and innovative artwork accessible by the community.

The purpose of the project is to build on the success of a previous group project (2005) involving young people associated to 16Plus Canterbury and Swale.

Though participation includes learning the basic understanding and use of an SLR camera, and the taking of photographs, we ask 8 persons involved to consider a concept to their artwork that
1, promotes concerns for the local environment in the community and/or
2, raises awareness of local community issues.

The group will be asked to discuss and agree on the concept and follow the theme throughout the project.

The project will commence with a team meeting designed to encourage the concept to be introduced and agreed and the images to be taken.

Having completed the photography, over the following weeks, participants will be introduced to the darkroom, taught how to develop their films and techniques in hand-printed black and white photography and encouraged to use methods that best display this concept. the emphasis will be on quality (rather than quantity), presentation, framing and marketing the culmination of the project to the community so as to communicate the agreed concept, to then be exhibited in the community.

The emphasis of this project in the darkroom and workshop (in relation to the previous) is for the young persons to consider the quality of their work (rather than the quantity); presentation is important if the theme of the work is to be reflected on seriously and the concept relayed to the audience.

It is expected the project will continue for a minimum of 15 taught sessions liaising with the group to agree when suitable for the individuals involved, over a period from February to May 2006.

This project is aimed at increasing group awareness and motivation in a team atmosphere; sharing, group promotion and recognising the value of individual strengths in a group situation, away from the social inclusion for a group of young people who are frequently excluded from society.
Skills and knowledge of photography and darkroom skills will be obtained by participants leading to opportunity for employment or further education. The previous project saw an increase in self-esteem and confidence which would be repeated and the project would improve motivation through creativity and success.
Young persons develop their skills and knowledge about photography and the arts and are educated in specific techniques relating to photography.
The project enhances their opportunity to access training and employment in the arts field.
This project will see an increase of art and specifically photographic art exhibited to the wider community, and the community gallery used will benefit from the publicity and the exhibition event.
Kent County Council, The Rainer Group and 16Plus in Kent, will also benefit from the publicity (the previous project received excellent coverage by local and County-wide media).
Young people who go on to employment will contribute to the economy.
There will be opportunity for inclusion in arts related events and festivals in the community via this project, or after this project.

It has been agreed with Kent County Council Youth and Community that the young persons involved will include this project as the 'skills section' in their efforts to attain their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.


The Art Organisation has a public liability insurance policy and insurance is covered in hire of the gallery space. Risk assessments will be undertaken in the darkroom, workshop and gallery, when using equipment and on the field trip, and a qualified youth worker present during the latter. The project tutor has an enhanced criminal record bureau check, is currently studying MA Photography Research Degree, has a BA Hons in Creative Arts, NVQ level 3 in Youth Development, and is working toward BTEC level 3 in mentoring. All persons included in project assessed for suitability.

Funded by

Kent County Council Youth and Community

Canterbury City Council Arts Department

supported by Fotospeed

Use of facilities and equipment, insurance and photographic materials £1250.00
Fee for tutoring (15 weeks) £2250.00
8 x SLR camera £260.00
black and white film £80.00
Framing costs and materials £260.00
Advertising and promotion / gallery costs £300.00

Total costs £4400.00

Duke of Edinburgh registration £100.00

(extra sessions will be individually timetabled within this framework to allow all participants to complete the project)

Week one : the concept

The group have a chance to meet with each other, discuss the idea of the project and the schedule. They are asked to debate and agree a concept to the project and the theme behind the taking of the photographs. Finally the group are introduced to the space they will exhibit and the necessary requirements for the project to be fulfilled.

Local media is informed.

Week two : the camera

The group are introduced (at a site relevant to the concept) to the SLR camera and film, and are individually taken through the process of taking a photograph.

Week three and four : the darkroom / processing the film

The group are split in two and (following a health and safety lecture) are shown the process of developing a film and creating a contact print of their images.

Week five and six : the enlargement

The two groups are taken through the technique of enlarging their images and are allowed the opportunity to print several of their images as a means to selecting images worthy of exhibition relevant to the concept.

Week seven and eight : the enlargement

The two groups further their exploration of enlarging techniques working hand in hand with the tutor and making full use of equipment available.

Publicity material is designed and printed. Local media is informed.

Week nine and ten : finishing

The two groups finish their exhibition print and consider toning and finishing to their image, spot-touching and trimming.

Invitations are designed and printed.
Artists statements are written.

Week eleven and twelve : frame making

The two groups are asked to hand-make the frame for their image and are taught the process of routing the wood, cutting at angles, gluing and tacking, dying and waxing.

Invitations are sent out.

Week thirteen and fourteen : glass cutting and mounting

Finally the two groups trim mount board for their image and cut glass to fit the frame before putting it all together.

Publicity material goes out. Local media is informed.

Week fifteen : hanging and exhibit

The group meet at the gallery to hang their artwork and prepare for the opening

THE OPENING : Exhibition Kent County Council City Hall August 5th - 26th 2006.




© BluehouseArt