After the brilliantly successful makeymakey session at Sheffield Foyer, came the photo session. This was another fun session designed to introduce residents to some of the role play aspects of the Othello Unbound project.
We set up a green screen studio with lightboxes for residents to pose in front of. However, things got a little carried away. Residents descended into the clothes box and mixed all manner of costumes and props to create a bizarre array of detectives, gangsters, superheroes, weird pigs with beards, and tiara wearing princesses. As usual the staff jumped in and created some strange tableauxs!
“This has been one of the biggest turnouts ever. said one of the key workers. “It’s been brilliant!” said a resident dressed as a dog. “I was having a really bad day this morning now my mood has completely changed.”
While most were happy to play around with the costumes and props bag, some residents didn’t want to join in the dress up. But they still got an opportunity to take part. We took pictures of their heads and shoulders which residents can use for various official documents including ID cards, passports and driving licenses. In offering this option, the project was able to help residents by offering practical support.
The following week Destinations Arts helped the residents to edit their pictures. Many wanted to get rid of the dayglo green background and replace it with another image. Beaches, carnivals and red carpet style hollywood vistas were popular. Removing backgrounds involved some delicate control of the computers mouse, and some decent picture editing software. We used Pixlr, an online image editor that allows you to create transparent layers and do loads of things that you can do in Photoshop. Pixlr lets you do this for free and it’s accessible anytime you need it as long as you have a decent internet connection.
Hard to Reach
This activity was part of the Othello Unbound project, which creativley explores Shakespeare’s Othello and gives young people in difficult circumstances creative opportunities! These sessions, delivered in partnership with Foyer staff, aimed to help vulnerable young people in the shelter develop motivation, self-confidence and increase life choices by offering training and inspirational activities.
The Othello Unbound project is supported by Sheffield Hallam University and funded by Arts Council England using public money and is delivered by Destinations Arts, a creative initiative that uses digital arts to engage and hard to reach communities in creative activities.