I am Dewsbury

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Photography students from Kirklees College have been involved in a community project inspired by an international photographer.

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It is the second successive year the degree-level students from Batley School of Art have taken part in the I am Dewsbury project, which involves taking photographs of Dewsbury people in a pop-up in Dewsbury Town Centre.

The students became influenced by an on-going project called Inside Out, defined as “a global art project transforming messages of personal identity into works of art”.

It was inspired by French photographer JR, who made his name as a graffiti artist on the streets of Paris and now owns one of the biggest art galleries in the world.

The project gives everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and make a statement about what they stand for.

Photography student Peter Moseley said: ‘It was quite intimidating at first having to approach strangers in the street and local businesses. Rejection was a big factor.

“If we asked 15 people only one or two agreed. It was a real challenge, but I am really pleased with the final images.

“My social skills have grown and developed simply by engaging in conversation. When successful, I had the ability to keep calm and not feel as nervous about approaching the next potential shot.

“If an individual showed interest in my project or shared similar interests, I was able to keep the conversation flowing in an engaging manner.”

Lecturer Stewart Jackson said: “This is a great way to engage with the community in Dewsbury town centre and encourages students to build their skills in portrait photography.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Princess of Wales Shopping Centre and the involvement of the people of Dewsbury.”

Images are uploaded to Facebook and people can download their professional portrait for free.”

Portrait images can be seen on display at the Create final year show at Batley School of Art from June 16-21 or visit the project’s Facebook page here.

Kirklees College