George Eliot Montage


George Eliot Photo Montage

At the end of 2007 I was involved in a very exciting project at the George Eliot Community School in Nuneaton. Below is some background information on the project together with scrolling images of the main montage panels on the right.  At the bottom of the text you can click on the image to see more photos of the project.

Introduction from Mr Tim Over, Headmaster, George Eliot Community School

I first came across the work of Jo Andreae in one of my favourite parts of England - East Anglia. She suggested running a photographic workshop for students and what better idea than to celebrate 150 years since George Eliot wrote ‘Scenes of Clerical Life’. The images taken have been combined to form a contemporary eye-catching montage. My thanks to Jo and all who allowed scenes around Nuneaton to be photographed by our students. A new piece of history has now been created!

Background Information on the Project from Jo

The idea of the workshop was to go out with the students in small groups to photograph various places in and round Nuneaton which either directly related to George Eliot and life in her time e.g. Griff House and her statue, or which showed life today in Nuneaton e.g. Ropewalk Shopping Centre and the market. I have a passion for architecture and enjoyed pointing out to people the wonderful buildings facades and features above the shops in the centre of Nuneaton. The photos taken were not ordinary beautifully composed shots but a random series of images which, when put together, formed a new image. The new image may be distorted, may have a missing roof or a front door for a giant but that was fine as long as it was actually possible to tell which building or place it was. Actually the more wacky the image, the better, as generally this makes the viewer look closer at the image and love its quirkiness.

As the project progressed, many people asked me if I had in my head exactly what the end result would look like. I must confess I did not! I had ideas but wanted the students to be the creators and for them to be inspire. In my mind, my role was to guide, encourage and suggest and for them to implement, produce, and develop. It was great to be able to give the students such freedom. Produce, they did! A large 9 metre montage for the library and 19 mini montages for displaying around the school in corridors and stairs. It was wonderful to see some students go into a corner with a pack of random images only to call me over a few minutes later to see their creation. Others needed a bit more guidance, so we created together. In all cases the end results were superb and a credit to each and everyone of them. They can now go all round the school saying “I did that!” and also hopefully share the wonderful town of Nuneaton and the life of George Eliot with their friends and family.

To see the full montage image, detailed images of the main montage, 19 mini montage images and installation photos, click on the image below.

All images are copyright Jo Andreae.