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The Collaboration - Esher Preview Evening

On the 7 July 2016, Surrey Adult Learning held a preview event of the exhibition “The Collaboration” at the Esher Centre.

A selection of photography, creative writing and artwork produced by our Learners was on display. The evening was a great success and Surrey Adult Learning would like to thank not only Photography and Art Tutor Christina Rossmann and Creative Writing Tutor Ruth Brandt, who jointly created the concept for the event; but also the hard work of the Esher Adult Learning Centre staff and the engagement of our Learners.

The initiative for this venture happened by chance, one Monday morning when two Surrey Adult Learning Tutors met over a coffee and bounced some creative ideas around; resulting in the initiative to design a partnership workshop bringing together and show casing Surrey Adult Learning talent under one project.

The collaboration, between the writers from Woking, Esher, and Guildford Centres and the artwork and photography from Esher Centre resulted in a beautiful collection of quality photography, fascinating artwork and short pieces of creative writing, weaving together the tapestry of individual stories that were placed on display at the Esher Centre.

Each group was given a task with a week cycle starting with the photography Learners who were asked to submit a photograph to the project “Inspire a writer”. The photographs would be used as the inspiration for stories set in all different places and situations around the world, which the reader could only dream about. The creative writing Learners were then handed the photograph and were tasked with writing a short piece of approximately 500 words. The stories were then relayed to the drawing and painting Learners, who did not see the original photograph. The artists read the stories and were given one week to create an illustration cover page.

Several visitors complimented the artwork, commenting them as “book covers”.

One common outcome of this project across all classes was the sense of fun and enthusiasm, the sharing of ideas and boost to self confidence.

Surrey Adult Learning met with three contributors – photographer Joanna Fenning, the double runner up winner of the Surrey Adult Learning Photography Competition 2016, creative writer Clare Graham and artist Sue Lee.

The Learners were proud of their learning experience and the opportunity to explore each others’ talents together, as opposed to working in isolation.


Pictured: Surrey Adult Learners Joanna Fenning (photography), Clare Graham (creative writing) and Sue Lee (art)

  • Updated: 12 Sep 2016
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