The title of the project, 14.30, was taken from the distance (14.3m) Nadia Williams (New Delhi Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist, 2010 and number 2 in England) had to jump to be included in Team GB for the 2012 Olympics and came about in discussion with the young people, who found Nadia’s challenge something they could relate and aspire to in the challenges they face.
14.30 was a collaborative project whereby the content is shaped by the participants’ experiences, encouraging them to look at their own identity through the lens that focuses on an athlete preparing for London 2012, identity, home and the concept of community.
14.30 was a project that chronicled two parallel journeys. Seven young participants from Pembury estate in Hackney were encouraged to look at their own identities through the lens of portraiture and social engagement.
The broker that enabled them to map their cerebral thoughts was Nadia Williams. Nadia Williams took time from her Olympic qualification schedule to train the young people in the art of triple jumping. With this rare access, they witnessed, participated and soon realised their own ambitions could be achieved through determination and dedication.
Through a series of workshops, Faisal Abdu’Allah enabled them to assemble ideas, take portraits and place themselves at the core of their chosen works like a signature.
Conscious of how society perceives 'young guns' from the Hackney estate, they clearly wanted this challenged. The final works were selected by a rigorous edit process that reflects the transition in the young people, as a result of their interaction with Williams.
The colour palette reflects the GB colours, each triptych is a metaphor for a Beginning, Middle and End, just like the Triple Jump. Screen printing the work by the young people at the London Print Studio, immediately changed their relationship to their work. More importantly it changed their perception of the process of making 'Art' for the rest of their lives. Knowing how to think, compose, scale, colour and physically print, really splintered their own understanding of how art is made. Opposed to clearly being of a generation that prints immediately via dry technologies.
The project was commissioned by HS Projects and funded under the Insight Community Arts Programme.