Wednesday, 11 May 2016

GIDDY Exhibiton and App is launched at Brighton Festival

On Saturday 7th May the Giddy App was launched at the opening of the exhibition as part of The Brighton Festival 2016. It was great to see so many of the pupils from Longhill and the older participants of the memory days turn up to support and celebrate the project - a real testament to thier engagement and ownership of the project.

There were some lovely reunions between the older and younger people who made a connection during their time together at the memory days as well.

The pupils from Longhill were thrilled by the exhibition and were happy so many of their ideas for the curation and other elements that were included  like the Giddy feedback board and not to mention the specially made Giddy cookies!

The exhibition launch was really well attended and I'll be working with the pupils again in the coming weeks to complete their silver Arts Award and  evaluate the project.
Congratulations to all the pupils at Longhill, the older people who participated and the rest of the Giddy team who made this brilliant project happen!

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Exhibition Planning and project evaluation

Today Jamie Wyld (Nimbus Group and project Co-Director) and Juliette Buss (Project Coordinator) and I met with the students to talk about the exhibition and gather ideas.

We started by asking the group what they think is involved in putting an exhibition together and what kind of material we have to use for our Giddy launch exhibition. The group had loads of ideas to contribute before we'd even really introduced the idea which was fantastic.

After hearing their ideas Jamie gave a brief introduction in putting an exhibition together using a case study of a previous project Past Present. The group then added more to their list of possible things to involve in the exhibition.

We showed the group the a plan of the exhibition space and gave each pair an A3 sheet and some mini post-it notes to create a mini exhibition plan. 

It was really interesting to hear the groups ideas about what was important to them about putting an exhibition together. High on the list was a sense of it being accessible - in many different ways - by having gallery guides to help talk through the exhibition, to having music playing, comfortable chairs to sit on, cookies and food in general was pretty important. Showing the process of what had gone into making the app was key for many of them and this I felt really reflected a sense of ownership and pride in the project. They had some really creative ideas which will definitely inform the curation of the show. 

We'd printed all archive photos and collages so they could select their favourite images for the exhibition and asked them to tell us why they chose them by adding a post it note comment to them.

The next exercise was designed to demonstrate how much they'd learnt about what it was like to be a teenager in the 40's, 50's and 60's. 

In group of 4 each group given a decade and have to come up with a male and female character and create a profile of them. One pair chooses the male character, the other, female. They can choose to either - write a diary entry as a day in the life of their character or present to the rest of the group informally or in the style of an interview. It was great to hear about the characters they'd invented and how it reflected the people they'd met and interviewed as well as the experience of visiting Brighton Museum, The Keep and looking at archive photos and Screen Archive South Easts films. 

Each pair presented back their characters in different ways with good humour and great confidence!

Finally the group were asked to write a short biog to go along with their photos on the App. They were asked to write their name, something about themselves, something they learnt from being involved in Giddy and perhaps a stand out moment.

Here's a few examples of their blogs:

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Archive photo tagging and collage

Today's session focussed on tagging archive photos sourced from The Argus Archive, via The Keep, Brighton and Hove Royal Pavilion and Museums, QueenSpark Books, Brighton and Hove Photographic Collection ( as well as beginning to research video material from Screen Archive South East.

In previous sessions we have been using Google sheets to create a shared document that provides all the data for the app. The app developers will use this to link photos, keywords, locations etc to the edited oral histories. Paul Farrington will also be using it to edit the sound files from the pupils selections - they have noted down the time-codes and provided a key "quote' that the will be used in the app. 


For the final exhibition and website I'll be editing together a series of films linked to out themes combining different oral histories and archive film footage. The group will help make decisions about what oral histories to include and what video material to use. Today the group rotated around a series of tasks:

1. Looking at video footage from Screen Archive Southeast's material and making links between this material and our themes: Love and Romance, Friendship, Music and Dancing, Fashion and Identity, Pastimes. 

2.Collating the audio clips into groups related to the different themes.

3. Tagging the photos using the tag words already identified:

 LOVE                    WAR             MUSIC

LOSS            DANCING                IDENTITY


MONEY                    CRIME                      MISCHIEF

BEACH                                 CINEMA       WORK

CHILDHOOD                       VENUES



4. Making collages linked to the above tags using the archive photographs from The Brighton Museum, Argus Archive, and Queenspark Book community photo archive. We looked at the artist John Stezaker's work for inspiration, here are some examples of the pupils fantastic collages: 

Monday, 8 February 2016

Memory day at Larchwood Care Home

Today was the final memory day and took place at Larchwood Care home, Coldean, Brighton. We had a smaller group of students today as we knew it was likely we might only have a few participants and our approach might need more sensitivity as potentially we were meeting the eldest of our older participants. 

We met with the resident student occupational therapists whose role it was to visit the residents of the care home and invite them to participate. They were also able inform us about anything we might need to know about the participants and in some cases they would support the students in the interviews if they thought it was necessary.

Over the day we heard many lovely memories including stories about Brighton's first ever youth club, what went on in the love seats of the Regent Cinema, learning to dance at The Court school of dancing and tales of borrowing £5 to get married.  

Courtesy of Eileen Odom

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Giddy Memory Day at Longhill School

Today we had our penultimate memory day at Longhill school. We had residents of Brighton, former students of Longhill as well as some Longhill staff members coming to share their memories.

More portraits of more fabulous Giddy characters to add to our collection

We heard stories of finding jiving at the Regent ballroom and one man recognised himself in a photo someone had brought to a previous memory day, that he's seen on Facebook. 

He told us how he met his future wive there and told us about the etiquette of dance halls in the 50's and what it felt like to approach someone to ask them to dance hoping you wouldn't be rejected!

We heard from a staff member who found first love at aged 13 in Preston Park only to have the romance disallowed by her parents. Over forty years later they were reunited when he emailed her out of the blue, they are still together!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Memory Day 2 at The Keep

Today we had our second memory day at The Keep, Brighton. 

We had different stations set up for various activities three separate rooms and the pupils from Longhill did another brilliant job in rotating around various roles:

1. Being on the 'front desk' welcoming the older people and directing them to the right room.

2. Being on the 'welcome desk' talking them through the various consent forms they needed to sign.

3. Scanning images that people may have brought in.

4. Assisting photographer Elizabeth Doak in taking portraits.

5. Interviewing older people working with sound recordist Paul Farrington & Nimbus co-director Carina Westling.

6. Generally chatting with newcomers and helping with the essential cups of tea etc.

The pupils were give a hand out of questions related to the different themes to assist them during the interviews. These proved a useful prompt and help keep the interviews on point.

The pupils who had participated in the previous memory day noted that it felt easier second time round.

Giddy Questions handout:

Can you describe what Brighton was like for you as a teenager?
What made you happy/giddy as a teenager?
What's your favourite teenage memory?
What's your favourite teenage hobby/what did you do in your spare time?

Questions around particular themes:

Music and Dancing
Were you into music in your youth? Have you any stories around going to a particular dancehall/venue in Brighton?
Why was/was music important to you and your friends?
Did you have a favourite venue in Brighton?
Can you describe the club/dancehall in more detail  the atmosphere/what people were wearing, how did it feel to be there?

Were friends important to you growing up as a teenager?
Have you got any funny/exciting/scary/giddy memories related to you and your friends?
What did you and your friends do on the weekend?
Did you and your friends ever get into trouble?

Love and Romance
Did you fall in Love in Brighton?
Have you any stories to share about love and romance in Brighton?
What was it like when you were a teenager if you liked someone romantically? Did you go on dates?
Was the cinema a place for love and romance?
What did you do to find love, how did you people people?

Fashion and identity
Was fashion important to you?
Were you part of any sub groups or gangs? - eg mods/rockers
Was how you looked an important part of your identity when you were a teenager?
What kind of things(in fashion/culture) influenced what you wore/how you acted/how you spent your spare time?

Beach and Seafront
Were the beach and seafront and important part of life for you as a growing teenager?
Did you spend time on the beach with your friends? - what kind of things did you do?
Were there any special events/activities that took place on the beach/seafront that you can remember?
Did you go to the beach at night?
What was beach-life like when you were a teenager?

The day was a very social one, once people had finished, scanning, having their portrait taken and being interviewed they stayed around to have a cup of tea and a chat. It was great to see people making connections and sharing their stories of brighton with each other. 

The Longhill pupils had fun making group portraits with Elizabeth. 

Some comments by pupils and a teacher from Longhill:

Today we're at the Keep interviewing people who were teenagers in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.   We’ve all loved listening to the wonderful stories told here by the people who have come from all around Brighton & Hove. - Pupil of Longhill

Students from Longhill School have been given jobs to do, which all involve interacting with the people who have come to visit. Many would agree these jobs have helped them become more confident and more willing to talk to new people.  Some have been involved with interviews, talking to the guests and asking them about their teenage life. Some have been at the front desk asking people to sign consent forms to use the footage of the interviews and pictures.  Others have helped take pictures for the website and the app, and some have been writing the blog. - Teacher, Longhill

Despite only being here a few hours so far, we as a group have met loads of incredible people with amazing stories. It is very interesting to hear what life was like in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Personally – my favourite difference between life now and back then, is that the police were very lenient. One story we heard was about a motorcyclist who drove down the seafront at around eighty miles per hour and the police stopped him. Instead of getting warnings, he was told off and sent on his way. - Pupil, Longhill.