It started with a simple plan. We would meet for two hours, once a week, and go for a walk. Whilst walking we would photograph anything that we found interesting, anything that made us stop and pay attention. The things that we photographed would then become the topic of our conversation (our priorities)… why do we want to photograph this?
After our walk, time permitting, we would process our photographs and pop to the minilab to print a selection. The plan was that we’d work towards creating a collection of 12 photographs that could be displayed around The Pathways Centre (our place), and possibly used for a calendar (and a portable display) to help raise awareness about Framework, and funds for future creative projects.
As you read the project’s blog posts, you’ll notice that the ‘we’ that constitute the project participants has not only included residents and staff from Framework and scholars from the Social Science Centre, Lincoln, but many of the people we have encountered whilst out walking, talking and photographing Lincoln. A good illustration of how the project has created new relationships between us and our City is how we met Paul the stone carver. Last year Andrew took a photograph of Moneybags, a grotesque that had recently appeared between the transepts on the south side of Lincoln Cathedral. David bumped into Paul on Steep Hill a few months later, and told him about Andrew’s photograph (David recognized Paul from a life-size photograph that had appeared on the boards surrounding the foot of the scaffolding tower at the West Front of the Cathedral). As a token, Our Place, Our Priorities gifted Paul a copy of the photograph, in turn, Paul is in the process of trying to organize a visit to the stonemason’s workshop for a taster workshop in stone carving…
It has been a privilege to be part of this project. I have learnt so much from the other participants.
David McAleavey | SSC Scholar
Shortly after moving into Framework accommodation in Gainsborough, I was introduced to a weekly activity at The Pathways Centre in Lincoln, meeting up every Thursday to take part in a two hour photography session run by the delightful and very informative David McAleavey.
The group would take the camera out and about the centre of Lincoln taking photos of any subject matter that perhaps may have held some personal interest or maybe just made a pleasing shot at that moment in time. We would then process any pictures we were happy to keep. This in time turned into a project, Our Place, Our Priorities, where we would intentionally take shots of certain Buildings, Events, Persons etc. that meant something to us, taking into account the places where we live, and the people and their actions in those places.
This project has definitely got me interested in photography as a hobby and has also opened my eyes even further with regards to my surroundings, which would often be ignored without the conscious act of ‘looking’ which is so central to ‘doing’ photography. This project is now at an end, myself and Dave have started our own new projects, and we meet up fortnightly to discuss our shots and findings along with a mug of tea and a general natter – as I now consider Dave as a great friend. I would like to thank Framework for providing me this activity as it has been a great experience for me.
Andrew Wingell | Our Place, Our Priorities | Photographer
Over the past year the Our Place, Our Priorities project has contributed towards the support of The Pathways Centre residents. The project has enabled residents to build their confidence and feel reconnected to their surroundings and the community they have become detached from. The project has raised the profile of the beautiful surroundings in which we live, whilst highlighting the unusual, the quirky, and the landmark sights of our city. The residents have been able to look at the community in a different light, and with a keen eye and a camera, capture that moment to share with us.
I am so proud of all the residents who have been involved with this project, as not only have they produced some beautiful and interesting artwork for The Pathways Centre, they have also applied their time to a meaningful project. The residents have achieved a great deal from working on this project and we have seen an improvement in communication, confidence, engagement, and a speedier move on process with those who have taken part in the sessions.
We have now been able to install the work that has been produced up on our walls, and have produced this exhibition to share with you the work that we’ve created. I am very thankful to David for what he has brought to our service, and hope this partnership can continue to grow and some future projects can arise for our service users.
Louise Kent | Service Manager | The Pathways Centre
Framework Housing Association