RNLI College Art Programme Strategy

HS Projects was appointed by RNLI in 2003 to devise an Art Programme Strategy for the new RNLI College.

The RNLI is a highly professional and well equipped organisation, funded entirely by donation. The new RNLI College was an ambitious venture intended to further enhance the RNLI’s reputation with its contemporary design and state of the art equipment, heralding it as a forward-looking 21st century organisation.

The Art Strategy established the overall vision and put forward a number of recommendations, including a programme of site specific commissions and a separate exhibition programme to create increased awareness of the RNLI, both internallly and externally, as an ambitious and forward thinking organisation.

We recommended the formation of an Art Committee to oversee and execute the vision of the Art Strategy. We identified four sites for public commissions and proposed a shortlist of artists. We also proposed two separate sites for temporary exhibition programmes; the atrium area that can be used as a gallery to either showcase works from the RNLI collection or be for hire; and the bar area for a changing exhibition programme from the RNLI’s photographic archive. 

The Art Strategy brought clarity, consistency of vision and purpose, as well as detailed practical guidance on implementing all the different elements of the programme.

Five PhotoVoice Projects

HS Projects worked in collaboration with the international charity PhotoVoice in 2007, under the Insight Community Arts Programme (2002 – 2015), to bring together various projects from South Africa, Ecuador, Cambodia, India, Mexico, Cameroon, Bangladesh and London around themes of HIV/AIDs, visual impairment and immigration.

Youth Photo-Reflect, South Africa Digital storytelling by township youth infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS

In September 2006 PhotoVoice began a digital storytelling programme working with young people infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa. The project’s aim was to equip the young people with tools through which they can speak out about their personal experiences and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS whilst simultaneously providing them with valuable life and media skills.

Unheard Voices, Hidden Lives, Ecuador, Cambodia and India

Photography by members of groups at-risk and groups affected and infected with HIV/AIDS in three countries, in collaboration with the International HIV/AIDS Alliance’s wider multi-country HIV prevention programme. The experiences of people living at the frontiers of the global HIV epidemic are all too often unheard and unseen. The individuals in this project – people living with HIV – invite us to share, in their own images and words, their experiences, hopes, and fears of living in a world irreversibly touched by HIV.

Sight of Emotion, Mexico and UK Photography by blind and partially sighted people around the world

To empower blind and visually impaired communities around the world to create a dialogue with the seeing world, creating awareness and educating public audiences of the needs and experiences of the visually disabled.

Able Voices, Cameroon and Bangladesh

Photography by disabled people in Bangladesh and Cameroon, in partnership with Healthlink Worldwide.

Moving Lives, London

Moving Lives is a photography and digital-storytelling project giving a voice to young refugees living in East London and helping them integrate into the UK. The project, run in partnership with Trinity Community Centre in East Ham, brings together newly-arrived refugees with young people who have lived and grown up in East London all their lives.

PhotoVoice is an award-winning international charity and the only development organisation of its kind in Europe. Its projects empower some of the most disadvantaged groups in the world with photographic skills so that they can transform their lives.

‘Hopes And Dreams’, Kirstie Gregory & Raine Smith

Under the guidance of lead artists Kirstie Gregory and Raine Smith, students from the Cambridge School in Hammersmith, which specialises in children with learning disabilities and behavioural problems, created a photographic exhibition around their hopes and dreams for the future.

The students explored the theme ‘Hopes And Dreams’ through a series of workshops. Within this context they were encouraged to think aspirationally about careers and vocations they would like to follow. Each student was asked to convey their aspirational career, including mechanic, car dealer, hairdresser, air steward, soldier and banker, with text, props and photographs of themselves in their aspirational work places, using a variety of different media including pin-hole cameras, disposable cameras and polaroids.

The workshops enabled the students to develop the brief through a range of different techniques and media culminating in a critical discussion and participatory selection process for the exhibition.

‘Hopes And Dreams’ was commissioned by HS Projects and funded by the Insight Community Arts Programme (2002 – 2015).

The project ran from January to June 2005.