Our fabulous Trinity Green building was once again the focus of attention on Friday 20th March when a sports photography exhibition featuring the work of talented BA (Hons) Photography student, Sarah Midgley, became the first exhibition to grace the venue. In addition to exciting action shots and portraits, Sarah has also taken superb studio images showcasing BA (Hons) Fashion Design student, Gemma Wadsworth’s final collection, 'Souled Out'. Gemma also displayed two of the garments on mannequins at the opening. The exhibition was held to launch the latest developments - the second phase of our highly successful sports academies.
College Principal, Michele Sutton, OBE welcomed representatives from schools, local authority sports departments, the Bradford Bulls, students, parents and colleagues to Trinity Green. Michele was full of praise for the students whose skills were displayed, declaring, “ We are a very large college but we pride ourselves on getting our students to work together. This exhibition brings together sport, photography and fashion and the talents you can see are second to none.”
Ronnie Todd then expressed his absolute pleasure to be part of the growing take up of sport in Bradford and the excellent partnerships that were flourishing. He highlighted successes already achieved since the introduction of the six academies (rugby, football, cricket, basketball, boxing and fitness) last year, including doubling the numbers of sports students in College, and he looked forward with great enthusiasm to the benefits that will come with the launch of six more, in badminton, netball, swimming, dance, disability sports and martial arts. Ronnie then praised Sarah and Gemma for their hard work and professionalism and spoke warmly of the rapport and ambience between staff and students that enriched progress.
After confident speeches from both our star students, Sarah and Gemma, Phil Barker, Bradford Council’s Assistant Director for Leisure Services, told the appreciative audience, “The work we have seen here today is excellent. Sport and culture is inspirational for participants and spectators alike. Well trained people become leaders and captains of industry but a recent survey has shown that 80% of people go on to careers in what they have studied at college or university and that people working in the cultural sector enjoy what they do.” He praised collaborative partnerships which were providing pathways into education for high quality careers.
Sarah’s passion for sports photography began last year when she started taking shots of snowboarding and skiing for a final project on the HND Photography course. She enjoyed this so much that when she progressed to the final year of the BA (Hons) Photography course, she asked if she could photograph activities at the College’s new Trinity Green building. Course Tutor, Trevor Griffiths, arranged for her to meet Sports Academy Project Manager, Ronnie Todd who was interested to use Sarah’s skills to promote the launch of the new academies.
So Sarah began the project literally as the building opened, spending the next 6 months building relationships with the various users and taking photographs onsite and various different locations, including a boxing event at the Cedar Court Hotel and rugby at Dudley Hill. Sarah recalled, “I was apprehensive at the beginning but once I was there I made good contacts with people. When they realised that I would keep coming back to get the right shots they relaxed and it was really enjoyable, especially the boxing and rugby. I am not a big sports fan but I love the challenge of capturing different sport on camera. Getting the shots is such a challenge as there are such a vast range of sports, each completely different and so photogenic. There are not a lot of sports photographers so I am hoping to specialise. I am still developing this body of work for my degree Once I graduate I hope to work as a freelance photographer or for an agency. I am currently building my portfolio and establishing links with local sports projects. The College is expected to host a training camp for one team in the next Olympics, so I hoping to retain my links to College and get involved in 2012.”
Fashion Design student, Gemma, whose collaboration enhanced the exhibition and event so much, explained, “I was delighted to get involved when Ronnie came into the fashion studio looking for a student designing sportswear. My collection is not sportswear but it is sports inspired. It is meant for leisure rather than performance, though I have used sporting fabrics like mesh and retro tracksuit material. The concept is trainer, which links in with sports. The trickiest part was getting the shape and proportion of the trainer right before adding features like hoods and mesh. I kept the colour palette to just red and white to evoke the trainer look. I added a design element to the lining of the gilet which is reversible and shows a trainer print. I met with Sarah and we worked together to get the right feel for the studio shots. My garments were modelled by second year Fashion degree student, Jade Hannam. As well as the exposure my work is getting in the exhibition, I now have some fabulous photographs to promote my collection. I am very impressed with Sarah and the job she has done. Following graduation I would love to work with a big sports brand like Addidas or Nike.”