See youth culture in a different light
Wednesday 2 February 2011
A unique ‘light graffiti’ exhibition, which has been created entirely by disadvantaged young people from across the South East, will be showcased at the BFI on London’s Southbank next month.
University of Surrey scientist, Dr Kathryn Harkup, has been working with visual artist, Tine Bech, from the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) on LightTAG, a project which brings together young people from Surrey, Kent and Hampshire to discover a new way to explore youth culture – and challenge society’s perception of it – through the science and art of light.
The LightTAG project offered workshops in Guildford, Staines, Farnham, Southampton, Hounslow and Canterbury where participants were taught how coloured LED lights could create light drawings and animations through an innovative camera technique to produce vibrant pieces of art.
The scheme will reach its climax at a launch event at the BFI on 11 February 2011 where images of the work created by these young people will be displayed, before beginning a tour of galleries in the South East.
Dr Harkup commented: “LightTAG has been a fantastic experience for everybody involved. The young people who participated have created a really visually engaging project. They are experiencing how fun learning can be. Mixing scientific information about how light works and combining this with technical skills using equipment is helping to inspire them and give them something longterm to take away from the experience.”
LightTAG is a collaboration between the University of Surrey, UCA and the South East Physics Network (SEPnet). LightTAG worked with groups of young people who are either: care leavers; disabled; not in education; employment or training and who live within reach of SEPnet universities.
The project has enabled over 55 young people from six communities to build confidence and achievement through a unique science and media art collaboration.
Tine Bech said: “One of the project goals is to show youth culture in a positive light and increase the visibility of young people’s voices, which I think we’ve achieved.
“We often forget that universities don’t just award degrees but connect with communities, with businesses and in this case with young people. We are not an exclusive community for the few, but engaging with society in many innovative ways – LightTAG is just one of them.”
Young people and the public will also have the opportunity to take part in a range of activities on the 12 February, including an LED Throwie event at 5pm that will see hundreds of LEDs light up London’s skyline.
Notes to editors:
Members of the press are invited to the launch event at the BFI on 11 February 2011 at 4.30pm where they will be able to meet the youngsters and organisers involved in the project and make an LED Throwie.
The LED Throwie spectacle will take place on 12 February at 5.00pm. Please contact Clare Kelly to confirm attendance or to request an interview ahead of the launch.
Each LightTAG workshop was run by an artist; an UCA media student; a scientist and a physics student whose role is to train the participants in digital photography, the art of light drawings and to provide an understanding of the science behind light graffiti. All creative output of the project is owned by, and accredited to the participants.
The project, which was awarded £80,000 in total, has been funded by University for the Creative Arts Widening Participation department, University of Surrey Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Mediabox and SEPnet.
The University of Surrey is one of the UK’s leading professional, scientific and technological universities with a world class research profile and a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Ground-breaking research at the University is bringing direct benefit to all spheres of life – helping industry to maintain its competitive edge and creating improvements in the areas of health, medicine, space science, the environment, communications, defence and social policy. Programmes in science and technology have gained widespread recognition and it also boasts flourishing programmes in dance and music, social sciences, management and languages and law. In addition to the campus on 150 hectares just outside Guildford, Surrey, the University also owns and runs the Surrey Research Park, which provides facilities for 140 companies employing 2,700 staff.
The Sunday Times names Surrey as ‘The University for Jobs' which underlines the university’s growing reputation for providing high quality, relevant degrees.
The university offers a wide range of outreach activities for local schools and colleges as well as community groups. More information can be supplied on request.
Surrey is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.
The University for the Creative Arts has campuses in Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester and is one of Europe’s largest specialist Universities of art, design, architecture, media and communication. With around 7,000 students studying on a wide range of well-established courses, potential graphic designers’ work alongside budding journalists and pioneering fashion designers in a highly creative environment.
SEPnet (South East Physics Network) is a consortium of seven partner physics departments at the Universities of Kent, Portsmouth, Queen Mary University of London, Royal Holloway University of London, Southampton, Surrey and Sussex working together to promote excellence in Physics, supported by a five-year HEFCE grant of £12.5m.
SEPnet Outreach aims to bring the excitement, innovation and knowledge of Physics to students, teachers and the public. Through events and activities delivered both jointly and by each of the partners, SEPnet will provide unprecedented access to and promotion of Physics in the South East.
Mediabox enables young people to create media projects and get their voices heard. It has given disadvantaged 13-19 year olds, and up to 25 if they have learning difficulties or disabilities, living in England the opportunity to create media projects about issues that matter to them, from film and journalism to digital media and campaigns. Mediabox is delivered by a consortium led by First Light and Media Trust in partnership with Skillset and the UK Film Council. Over 17,000 young people have benefited from the scheme since it was launched in 2006.
LightTAG is proud to be part of the BFI Future Film Festival on 12-13 February. Now in its 4th year, the weekend is programmed exclusively for 15-25 year olds and encourages those with an interest in film to get an insight into the industry – and to get involved.
Mario Creatura, Media Relations Office at the University of Surrey, Tel: +44 (0)1483 68 4712, or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Clare Kelly, LightTAG,
T: 07941 135 117