Ted Fox Joyce travelled to Nigeria to embark on a photographic project where he asked students at a school in Lagos to recreate images of kings and monarchs, inspired by the photographer George Osodi. He took along the Lomo'Instant Wide to document this inspiring project.
Tell us a bit about yourself and this project?
I am Ted Fox Joyce. I am the head of the Visual Arts Department at Langley Park Girls School in Beckenham Kent. Last year I became involved in a project called Rivers of the World which is run by Thames Festival and the British Council. We developed project work based on the River Thames and we were partnered with a school in Lagos, Nigeria called Lagos Boys Junior Academy; they also made artwork based on their local river in Lagos. Part of the project meant that I got to do some teaching and learning training with the British Council, centring around the theme of Creativity and Imagination and this led to me applying for the British Council’s Connecting Classrooms programme and then recently I got the chance to fly out to Lagos to actually work in our partnership school.
At the school I got to observe some lessons, teach some lessons and share my pedagogic practice and experience with other teachers. In addition, I wanted to make some Artwork with the children at the school and so I decided to embark on a photographic project as this is my main area of teaching. I knew that the school in Lagos might not have many resources and materials and I wanted to do something that captured the imagination, allowed for collaboration and instant visual results. For some time now I have admired the work of Nigerian photographer George Osodi and his series of images of Nigerian Monarchs. Using Osodi’s work as reference material, I and staff at the Boys Academy got year 9 boys to split into groups of about 10 and then we discussed Osodi’s work with them and showed them Osodi’s images. I am very interested in how young people perceive Art and Photographic work. We asked the students to work collaboratively in order to create their own photographic response in the style of Osodi’s work; off they went in the knowledge that they would need to present themselves at a Photographic shoot at the end of the week. Come the day of the shoot I was amazed at how much effort all of the students had put in to making themselves look like one of the monarchs and his entourage as in Osodi’s images of Kings.
Why did you choose to take the Lomo'Instant Wide camera to document part of this project?
Choosing the Lomo'Instant Wide camera was an obvious choice for me. It was instant and gave me the chance to share outcomes immediately with the students. Using a DSLR meant that I need a computer etc to display the work; the school just does not have any resources. I have experimented with a number of instant cameras and what I love most about the Lomo'Instant Wide camera is the quality of build and the vibrancy of colours in the outcomes. The students loved the camera!! It was instant, immediate and simple to use.
How did you find shooting with the Lomo'Instant Wide?
Using the Lomo'Instant Wide camera is straight forward; from loading the film to focus setting and light balance. Staff and students were happy to play about with the camera and take candid shots. We even had a chance to explore the multiple exposure function and we tried out the different lenses which came with the camera.
What's coming up in 2018?
I am now in the process of collating the images into a book which I am to sell to generate funds so as to purchase art equipment to put back into the school to assist staff and student with their teaching and learning. There is also hope of an exhibition this summer in order to celebrate the achievements of the students. Part of the project was to build a sustainable relationship with our partner school, Lagos Junior Boys Academy and both schools aim to achieve this through further arts and photographic projects which allow our students to explore each other’s cultures, histories, environments etc.
To see more about this project visit www.lpgs.bromley.sch.uk