City as Studio launch day

City as Studio works with local Oxford schools and colleges to offer professional development opportunities for young people aged 16-21. Today we are celebrating the work of our City as Studio artists by premiering the work they have done throughout the project. Follow along throughout the day on Instagram #CityasStudioTakeover.

Below, Lead Artist Kate Mahoney discusses the project and how she worked with the young artists:

From January 2020 I have been collaborating with Oxford Spires Academy, Cheney School and City of Oxford College for the third year of the City as Studio project. This year we asked the young artists to create original short films in response to the sculptural practices of Johanna Unzueta and Ruth Asawa. This gave the young artists the opportunity to explore moving image to express their current concerns, using the materials around them as tools to explore what makes them a citizen of the universe.

Oxford Spires academy visit Johanna Unzueta’s exhibition Tools for Life

The students were asked to consider: what did they want to communicate to their audience about their views upon the state of the world and their place within it? The responses throughout the three workshops explored the rules of filmmaking, performance art and protest, to creating stop animations covering topics ranging from climate change, mental health, education, Brexit and COVID-19.

Due to the current climate, the young artists in Year 10 and 12 from Oxford Spires Academy are the only group to have currently completed their final films. Cheney School and City College have yet to film their final films. We aim to complete this project once it is safe to do so. This will include the final two school groups gaining the help and expertise of cameraperson and editor Rachel Dowle, as well as working to create a unique soundtrack to accompany their work with the help of musician and producer Poppy Tibbetts.

Cheney School participants take part in a City as Studio workshop

I am incredibly impressed and proud of what the young artists have achieved in such a short space of time. All of their film responses have shown a considered, experimental and thoughtful minds and I am really excited to share with you all their final films.

Kate Mahony is the Lead Artist for City as Studio and is a lecturer at Oxford Brookes University. 

Follow along with the takeover on Instagram #CityasStudioTakeover.

As a charity, our Creative Learning projects are made possible by your generous support.

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