Projects » Seen and Heard » Caliban


You taught me language; and my profit on ‘t is I know how to curse. The red plague rid you for learning me your language.

William Shakespeare — The Tempest

Caliban aimed to explore the area of Newport Settlement and St Hilda’s, including the Ironmaster’s Trail, in black and white photographs, recorded sound-scapes, creative writing and image making.

20 young people aged between 13-19 worked closely with writer Val Magee, sound artist Andy McCall Smith and photographer Paul Higgins.

During the project the participants were introduced to aspects of local history and encouraged to represent their own sense of history, identity and environment through various media. The workshops ranged from camera use, introduction to a dark room, photographic processes, digital manipulation, sound recording, sampling and arranging, some 3D construction and various creative
writing activities.

The project involved three groups of young people from Newport Settlement Youth Club, Custom’s House – St Hilda’s Youth Club and Middlesbrough Careers Club. The finished pieces from the project were displayed at The University of Teesside on 7 November 2001, involving an exhibition, young D.J.s from In The Mix project, two live bands from the Tees Valley, information and poetry displays. The showcase attracted an audience of around 50 people.

The Caliban: Seen and Heard exhibition was also shown at Middlesbrough Art Gallery between 25 January & 16 March 2002.

The young people involved in the project were very excited about their work being shown in public beside a professional artist’s work. Many had not visited the gallery before, or knew of its existence. They attended a number of workshops at the gallery as part of the process and several became involved in additional, follow-up workshops run by the Gallery’s Education Unit.

Part of the exhibition was also shown for one day in The Royal Festival Hall, London, in the foyer of The National Poetry Library and discussed as a model of good practice at The National Association for Literature Developments A.G.M on April 10 2002.