Mass Observation at Grundy Art Gallery


We have been working with year three, four and five pupils from Mereside and Unity Primary Schools in Blackpool over the past few weeks, thanks to a great project – In The Dark – being led by the Grundy Art Gallery.

Inspired by the Grundy’s exhibition Mass Photography: Blackpool through the camera, which contained over 100 images of images of the resort, the young people when on to produce their own images of the town.

They used low-fi cameras containing black and white film to capture images of the town during a photo-walk along Blackpool’s promenade, from North Pier to Coral Island.


Next it was into the Photomobile Darkroom to develop and print their own images, having worked in groups to edit a final selection from traditional contact sheets – just like photographers of old.

The Grundy is exhibiting these photographs in the gallery before they are archived in the Local & Family History Centre, to be discovered in future years; with Photomobile and Ilford’s help all the negatives have also been scanned for the production of a newspaper to accompany the show.

Skills – a project like this isn’t simply about learning photographic skills and experiencing old techniques, students also have to practise their teamwork and decision-making, through things as simple as the editing process.

It was great to see the delight on the participants’ faces as their own images started to appear in the developing trays, in the dark.

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Posted in Analogue Photography, Case Studies, Education