After receiving their Marsh Award in 2019 TAS Shrewsbury Young Arts sub-committee decided to donate £500 to the town’s Priory School, which had presented a well-structured and comprehensive application for their Year 8 and 9 students to attend printing workshops with local artist James Millichamp and learn how to make cyanotypes (blueprints). Of particular interest to the sub-committee was that the project combined photography, chemistry and history and that the students could print on to different media. The grant paid for both equipment and materials over two days which enabled the school to repeat the activity within its curriculum time.
First, negatives were produced on acetate, placed on specially treated paper or textile then exposed to UV light. It was fascinating to see the image appear as if by magic as the excess chemicals were washed away. The images were based on photographs of the school building going back to the early1940s which the students discovered in The Priory archive. Other, contrasting images were produced using contemporary photographs of the school.
Attending a workshop in late November, TASS Chairman, Deborah Yates, said “we were most impressed by the pupils’ high level of focus and concentration throughout the process. The Priory’s art teachers have now learned the cyanotype technique so they can extend its use to other classes and other schools within their group. We are pleased that this looks like a lasting investment in Young Arts.”
Some of the prints produced by The Priory School students
James Millichamp, Sian Joao (Head of Art) with YA committee members Gloria Partridge,
Corinne Russel and Jerry Wallace, and TASS Chairman, Deborah Yates.