The driving force behind my workshops is: the desire to help people of all abilities, encourage confidence building through participation and achievement, express themselves in a way that opens new doors to their experience and extend the skills they may already have. My personal objective is to guide people through a new visual journey that I hope they will continue to explore into their future.
To make this happen, I work in two ways. I teach bespoke DSLR camera classes through 'mentoring sessions' and my small group, the Creative Camera Club. In community and school settings I encourage students to express themselves in different ways using mobile phone cameras and apps. This is sometimes integrated with traditional darkroom processes depending on the facilities available to me at each location. I use a pop up studio to develop experimental portraiture with various groups, awarded to me by the Start East European Development fund. I have also started to experiment with my image transfer technique, creating 'wooden photos' with older members of our community. This online gallery displays a small selection of some of the amazing work that has been generated by participants in these sessions.
NB: I began teaching photography in 1995 and qualified formally in 2013. I have taught in school, college and university settings. Since 2108, I have designed programmes for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children, adults with learning difficulties, created on-line programmes during lockdown for all ages and abilities and collaborated on sessions for adults with diagnosed mental health needs. I work for public sector organisations and charities to deliver my programmes. They include; Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Artlink, Suffolk Libraries & NEACO.
Tony Casement - Head of Creative Communities - New Wolsey Theatre, Suffolk
Without really understanding how she does it, I’ve seen Gillian support young people who’ve never taken photography before to create beautiful images that also speak of the reality of their lived experience, their dreams for the future, and their reflections on their past. She is an exceptional artist with the rare ability to share her practice without ever compromising on the complexity or the quality of the work that she empowers others to create.
'Katie Puls - Youth Activities Producer - Suffolk Libraries
Gillian is an exceptional artist and facilitator. Her unique creativity and expertise in relating to people of all ages sets her apart from the rest. Through her passion for her craft, she has a very special ability to adapt her work, and engage with everyone in her care. Her ability to translate her unique creativity into meaningful activities for everyone is second to none. By the end of the workshop, all of the participants have an immense sense of pride and achievement and leave feeling passionate to create more. Gillian is an incredible person to work with. A true gift.'
Candida Wingate - Senior Project Officer - Suffolk Artlink
I have watched Gillian work in cold, draughty warehouses, cosy education rooms, walking groups around a village duck pond and photographing individuals outside a medieval church on such a windy day I thought the equipment might blow away. Wherever she works, Gillian has the ability to really engage her participants in the process of creating photographs. Her sessions are always well prepared, her range of materials interesting and - at times - unusual; she introduces her participants to new and challenging concepts of what a photograph could be - and they are always really pleased with what they produce.
Report : Janice Connington - UASC Education Officer, Suffolk County Council 2019
"The group of participants have been thoroughly engaged in viewing life through the lens, this practical element of the activity in itself provides an opportunity for them to totally immerse themselves in creativity - and aside from their everyday worries. All of the young people are producing the most astounding work with one or tow in particular showing a remarkable aptitude for understanding the medium of photography. The group have developed a close bond. They inspire and motivate each other, losing themselves in their creative endeavours. This we have noticed is quite unusual for UASC who often fear silence and the isolation of being alone".