Pieces of art that capture moments of arts practice.
The visual documentation of Paul Gent.
One of the biggest challenges we face is sharing our work with the world at large. Many of the commonplace ways of recording and dissemination are closed off to us because of a combination of security and safeguarding considerations. Secure institutions place understandable restrictions on the use of cameras and recording equipment and in the community, many of the people we work with are caught up in the youth justice system; others are highly vulnerable and facing challenging circumstances. For good reason these people are often reluctant to be photographed or filmed.
An additional, but by no means insignificant challenge to effective documentation stems from the nature of our practice. Our work is about participation and that demands a documentary approach that captures process not just product.
Recognising these challanges, in 2006 we invited the visual artist, Paul Gent, into a couple of our prison projects and his work has subsequently become central to how our work is recorded and represented. He even designed our current logo. Paul's approach is ideal, as he is able to capture both the action in the space and a sense of the working processes in the exchanges he records. Time spent reading the conversations he records is always well-spent as hehas an ability to capture fleeting moments of intimacy and truth. His work captures the essence of a moment in a way no photograph or filmed event ever can. Added to that, his work has a rough edged beauty that reflects the utilitatarian and pragmatic approach we take to our creative practice. They are pieces of art that capture moments of arts practice.
images by paul gent, 2008
This was one of our very first Creative Parterships projects, working with teachers and pupils in a secondary school in East Lancashire to animate the Religious Studies teaching. The young people learned film making skills which they then used to document a series of field trips to different sites of worhip.
Images by Paul Gent, 2009/10
Enviz engaged participants in the creative processes of drama and film-making, and was delivered by TiPP in partnership with two social housing providers; St. Vincent’s Housing Association and Stepping Stone. Funded by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ Transformation Fund which was set up to find ways of engaging hard to reach groups through informal learning. Running from November 2009 to March 2010, Enviz aimed to introduce a new culture of learning to social housing tenants and supported housing service users. The issues faced by participants included alcohol and drug dependency, mental health issues, long-term unemployment and homelessness.
The project engaged over 20 people, with a core group of 15 giving regular commitment to twice weekly drama and film workshops, including cultural trips, leading to a public performance at Bolton Little Theatre at the end of the project. We also produced a toolkit designed for use by social housing and related agencies interested in developing an innovative, creative approach to engaging tenants.
Following Enviz, we engaged with four of the participants to take part in Once in a Lifetime at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Other participants continued to access community arts based activities near where they live, and remain friends with those they met on the project.
The project was documented and evaluated by Doctor Jenny Hughes of the University of Manchester's Department of Drama and was written up in a resource manual.
Summer Arts Colleges, 2010
images by paul gent, 2010
Paul was invited to document some of the rich and varied arts activities that formed a part of the Trafford and Salford Summer Arts Colleges in 2010. These images capture moments in drumming, drama, screen printing and wood carving workshops. There are also sketches of a visit to The Lowry and of Salford College's celebration event which featured a shadow performance devised by the young people.
The Last Days of Lancaster Castle
Images by Paul Gent, 2011
In late 2010 TiPP were developing a film about the work of the Castle's unique approach to drug and alcohol treatment when it was announced that the prison was to be closed. We brought in Paul to document the final weeks of the prison, which had been a gaol since the twelfth century. His drawings and paintings capture some of the institution's final moments, as cells were emptied, equipment boxed and slowly but surely the men were shipped out. The prison is now a tourist attraction, and the visits hall depicted in the final painting is now a cafe and a visitors' centre.
HMP YOI Hindley / Planet Art
Images by Paul Gent, 2011
Planet Art was a partnership project between Manchester's young person's mental health charity, 42nd Street and the arts organisation, Box of Frogs. We were commissioned to work with two groups of young people: a group of young parents in Swinton and a group of young men in HMP & YOI Hindley. Installation artists and jewellery designer Sarah Jay worked with a group of young women from Swinton to create pendants, mirrors, mood boards and other wearable art. Some of this work was taken to the prison as inspiration for a group of young men to create soundscapes. The young men, aged 15-17 were led through the process of writing haiku poems based on the themes of home, safety and their responses to the title The Wing. These poems were recorded and formed a part of an installation at the opening of 42nd Streets magnificent new base in 2012. In Gallery 2 you can see some images of the jewelery and wearable art that were made by theyoung parents group.
University of Manchester
Images by Paul Gent, 2013
These images provide an insight into some of our undergraduate teaching sessions. Several of the pictures depict students delivering presentations about their work. Others document the annual Question Time session, where an invited panel of specialists froma range of criminal and social justice agencies are grilled by a group of drama and criminilogy students. The session is highly popular and regularly stimulates some fascinating conversations on the role of the arts in justice.
Images by paul gent. 2014
57 was a year long project working with men suspected of having dangersous and severe personaility disorder. TiPP worked in partnership with Chris Charles of Creative Arena to develop a film and short publication that detailed the life experiences of the participants. The project employed theatre, film, creative writing, photography and visual arts and Paul crafted these images alongside the participants, representing their words and stories in visual form.
The project was called 57, after the poem depicted in the first image where a participant detailed how he had "lived" in fity-seven care homes between the ages of fourteen and sixteen. The poem has fifty-seven words.
The Rights of Undocumented Migrants
images by paul gent, 2014
This was TiPP's first major collaboration with the University of Manchester’s Manchester’s Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. The project used arts based research methods to explore challenges faced by undocumented migrants in their struggle to become "legitimate" British citizens. Paul visually documented the drama based group sessions that formed the core of the research approach. TiPP's Blagg! project head can be seen seen in action in the fourth image.
Images by Paul Gent, 2015
Voices Unlocked was TiPP’s contribution to the commemorations surrounding the 800th anniversary of the sealing Magna Carta in 2015. Funded by Unlock Democracy, we worked with Unlock Democracy, Victim Support and men and women in HMP Thorn Cross and HMP Styal exploring issues of democracy, freedom, justice and personal responsibility. Employing a mixture of drama, debate, music and visual art the project resulted in the composition of a song and a short performance that were presented in the Palace of Westminster in Parliament Week. Paul's images capture the groups' discussions.
Image by Paul Gent, 2015
TiPP was commisioned by the University of Manchester’s Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice to undertake arts based research workshops with groups of young migrant men in Manchester. The project concluded with a conference at the University where we lyoung men form several Europen countries took part in a creative arts workshop that concluded with the construction of a temporary installation just outside the conference space. Paul's drawings document the workshop and the construction of the installation, which was made from cardboard boxes decorated with lists of things that the young men carried with them, or had been forced to leave behind in their countries of birth.
Candid Conversations About Radicalisation
images by paul gent, 2016
Candid Conversations was an arts based research project developed in partnership with the University of Manchester’s Manchester’s Centre for Criminology and Criminal Justice. Funded by the Humanities Strategic Investment Fund, the project used theatre, music, creative writing and the visual arts to explore the impact of the governments Prevent agenda on the culture of an inner city secondary school. Paul's images were reproduced as a series of postcards and formed a part of a digital installation.