A sixth form student from Colston’s Girls’ School,
Ashlee Taylor was the youngest person to be awarded funding from Brunel
Ashlee created an exhibition of 20 photographs of Brunel’s sites in Bristol
which aimed to interest the younger generation of today in Brunel’s work.
The exhibition was shown in one of Brunel’s buildings – now the British
Empire and Commonwealth Museum and formally the terminus for the Great Western
Railway – from 10 March 2006.
“It has involved a lot of work outside of school but I am very
pleased with the results, “ she said
“As a young person
photography has been a way to explore my culture and the world around me.
Doing this project has allowed me to focus on an important part of our
The exhibition, entitled ‘Brunel Exposed’, took a contemporary
look at Brunel’s work around the city. It included views of the
Clifton Suspension Bridge, the ss Great Britain and Temple Meads.
also ran workshops introducing young people to pinhole photography and
digital photography, during the Easter holidays. Entitled ‘Art
in a Can’ the workshops were aimed at students aged 14+. It showed
them the range of techniques available to photographers and how to make
their own pictures.
Ashlee said: “I think young people are interested in seeing how
a pin hole camera works. It is great fun and very different from today’s
Left: Ashlee Taylor demonstrating
pinhole camera equipment.
Right: Ashlee Taylor demonstrating darkroom techniques.
Ashlee’s personal project journal
This is the first time I start to realise how big the project is, I had
my first meetings with Lucy Bradley (from the education team at the
Commonwealth Museum). I meet the Brunel team and am quite shocked by
the expanse of the project. I wonder why they chose mine from so many
Met all the (other Brunel 200) artists and began to get very over-whelmed
by the whole project. At the time I felt as though my work load was
too great since I was studying for my A-levels at the time.
Felt I had not kept up and had a meeting with Lucy Bradley. After that
I realised no-one understood that even though this project is very
important to me, I was still studying and that took precedence. Neither
my teachers nor Lucy could understand. The only people who understood
were Brunel 200. Ruth Sidgwick gave constant support throughout and
for that I am very grateful.
Final preparation for the event. I come down with a tremendous bug which
knocks me out for a week. The pressure was on since my opening was
the same date as my coursework deadline.
March 10th (opening night):
I think I should have expressed myself a bit more as I become very introverted
under pressure. My photography teacher realised I had so much to do
and gave me an extension. I finally got the photographs hung. I had
a great response from all who attended the launch (around 50 people).
It went really well and I managed to keep upbeat even though I had a
A few days on and I revisit the exhibition; I am very flattered by compliments
and finally feel I have fulfilled everything asked of me.
‘Art in a Can’ workshop day. Disappointed by the amount of
no-shows to morning session. But very pleased with afternoon attendance
approx. 12 people. I learnt a lot about working with others. I enjoyed
talking to others about my project and photography in general.
The project went very well. I learnt a lot about
how people work and how I cope with different situations. I would definitely
do a project like this again, but not whilst I was studying.
Photography: Mark Simmons.