Mindfully Meander & Capture the Detail | Belsay Awakes

As part of the Belsay Awakes project, TICE students had the opportunity to put a creative spin on the magic and mystique behind Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens.

Belsay Awakes is a £6million project delivered over three years, aiming to transform a visitor’s experience at Belsay Castle, Hall & Gardens. For the second and last year, TICE was given an opportunity to be a part of the transformation. By doing so, we have created four Belsay-inspired creative projects for students to be involved in. Let’s take a look at what they have created.


Photography: Mindfully Meandering

Mentored By: Jennine Wilson – Photography Mentor

Project Contributors: Sophie Henderson – Landscape Photographer, Linda McCartney – Mindfulness Coach, Chris Younger – Fine Art Landscape Photographer

The Brief:

Landscape Photography begins with a world full of information and throughout the journey, people are encouraged to find different ways of seeing and experiencing their surroundings.

This project aims to observe and reveal the secret details within the landscape of Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens through Macro Photography. Students looked for beauty and mystery in the smallest things; hidden nature in the exotic microclimate of the quarry garden or rarities settling in the niches and ledges of The Grotto’s surrounding ‘walls’.

The final piece would be a series of digital macro landscape photographs, reflecting their journey of the sleeping and awakening of nature at Belsay Hall, Castle & Gardens.


Project Results:

Please view the final results of the student’s work from Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Durham School, Ponteland High School and Duchess’s Community High School.


What did the students think of their Belsay Awakes experience?

Please tell us your chosen project and why you chose this one

“Photography. I have always seen beauty in nature and had a creative eye for abstract things others can’t see. I wanted to try and express my point of view through photos and have always wanted to get better at it, rather than just quickly snapping a picture out and about.” Alana Gilbert, Cardinal Hume Catholic School.

What was your favourite part of the project?

“Definitely going outside and taking the photos! I found that taking the photos helped my creativity thrive and look deeper and more closely at the details of the world around me” Ethan Stayman, Cardinal Hume Catholic School

Was there anyone or anything that inspired you on this project?

“The outdoors inspired my thinking when I was taking the photos, how I should take the photos, and why I should take the photos. Nature is really exciting.” Ethan Stayman, Cardinal Hume Catholic School.

I enjoyed the trip to Belsay and learning a completely new way of looking at nature in detail with landscape and macro photography.” Charles Costello, Durham Cathedral School Foundation

What do you feel you have personally achieved in completing this project?

“I think I have gained a better understanding of how to take a good photo-taking in all considerations and have enjoyed it, hoping to carry on doing some photography out and about.” Alana Gilbert, Cardinal Hume Catholic School.

“I feel like I now have industry experience and I have a lot more knowledge of landscape and macro photography” Amy Brannen, Duchess High School

What do you think you will take away from doing this project?

I will take away many aspects. The main things are confidence and time management as I chose a project that most of my friends didn’t take and I had to use my time wisely on top of school.” Millie Buck, Cardinal Hume Catholic School.

“That trying new things and stretching yourself to do something you might not have experience in can be mind-opening and enjoyable.” Ethan Stayman, Cardinal Hume Catholic School.

“That photography isn’t  just taking a picture, it is about having a deeper meaning in each picture you take.” Erin Irving, Cardinal Hume Catholic School

What would you say to any young person thinking about doing a TICE project?

“Do it. It’s extremely fun and realistic. The deadlines, the creativity. It helps you capture the real work environment by doing something enjoyable.” Rhys Ayson, Cardinal Hume Catholic School

“Definitely, don’t choose a project that you don’t think you would enjoy just because your friend is not doing it as it is really fun choosing something you are interested in.” Millie Buck, Cardinal Hume Catholic School.


And finally…

Thank you and well done, not only to the students but to the teachers and staff at Cardinal Hume Catholic School, Boldon School, Ponteland High School, Duchess’s Community High School, Durham School and Consett Academy. A big thank you to Melanie Hills and Helen Klemm and the team at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, English Heritage and the companies that have supported and contributed to this project and to the TICE team that plugged away at the project week after week.

To the students – we hope you have enjoyed this project, we hope in years to come that you can proudly present an industry written project you did and quite frankly smashed. Well done and congratulations from everyone here at TICE.

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