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Digging up a Story was a project at a primary school in East London organised by Creative Partnerships in partnership with The Photographers’ Gallery. It involved an archeologist, an artist and a storyteller. A number of children were captivated by the visual effects possible from using the scanner.

“A long time ago before the Romans , a time before Christ, a time where I think you have never heard of before. A time called the deads. There was a wipe out announcement made, that everyone would be wiped out. There was an underground that was ruled by the mummies, and whenever someone died and got buried, they would be pulled out of their coffins and pulled into the underworld.” John Taggart ( Year 6 pupil )

“Once taught by Helen how to use the machine and manipulate images and colour, they were flying. They quickly became the recognised experts by everyone else in the class. The metaphorical quality of the project extended far beyond its title. There was no preciousness about using the technology. Simple things like leaving the lid open to create a black background, leaving the dirt on the object so that it spilled onto the scanning plate made for beautiful, rich and often mysterious results. Very often, when a project with a creative partner finishes the way of working that they introduced ends too. This has not been the case with Helen’s input. Because was simple, low tech and inexpensive the scanning and manipulation of images has become a regular element in work in other classes.”
Peter Sanders. Head Teacher Lauriston Primary School.

When the eyes meet the ears and hands’: Janice McLaren, projects organiser at The Photographers’ Gallery, writes about how visual artist Helen Marshall introduced different media and entry points.