Everyday life of Indian orphanage inspires Northampton students

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Colourful images of smiling children and scenes of everyday life in and around an Indian orphanage currently adorn walls in the unlikely location of a shop unit in Market Walk, Northampton.

The photographs, which will be on display for another five weeks, were taken as part of a project to teach photographic skills to the children of one particular orphanage in Rajasthan, led by a team of University of Northampton graduates.

The team, which included Jo Haines, Adam Lovatt and Wayne Lennon, were in India to support the work of the charity BastiRam, which runs projects to enhance education in deprived communities.

Jason said: “The youngsters involved were aged 15 to 18. It was different but really rewarding at the same time to watch the kids learning.”

Jo said: “It was outstanding considering that when we first met them we asked if they had used a camera before but they hadn’t seen one.”

And the photos produced have formed the first exhibition of Collective Collaborations, a new arts venue in Market Walk which has just been launched by University of Northampton postgraduate students Jo Haines and Zoe Plummer.

The establishment of this venue, which has been supported by the university, Northampton Borough Council, Bursha Holdings of Market Walk and Chown Commercial, is aimed at creating opportunities for students, graduates and local artists to showcase their work in a professional environment.

Zoe said: “Within Northampton there isn’t a platform for students to showcase their artwork. Breaking into galleries is a really challenging thing and we wanted to create a platform for that art.”

To find out more about future projects at the gallery and how to get involved, see www.collectivecollaborations.co.uk