These questions will be answered more fully and in depth during the Viva. (Oral Presentation)
What is the Project’s Context?
My project is based upon a series of Mental Health images. I have created a series of 13 images that each represent a different form/effect that is caused via Mental Health. Rather then just creating work like most artists I’ve seen who have portrayed mental health by using standard portraits and the sense of water etc., I have taken characters from the fantasy world and placed them into the scenario. With being inspired by the Artist Thomas Czarnecki , and finding a passion for wanting to work on film sets , I knew from the start my style evolved around the fantasy style. With mental health arising and having issues within the past year with my sister and trying to get an understanding of her illness , I decided to create this within my work. So as well as creating my own work , I was also learning new things.
With placing these characters in the storyline and having the character suffer with different forms , I feel as though it will juxtapose the scenario. Giving the reader a clear idea of what I’m trying to express within my images. With us being so used to seeing these characters as having the ‘perfect life’ , I thought it was a great way to express the opposite and place the ‘real life everyday lifestyle’ into these stories. Making them become a reality.
What Photographic methods have you used throughout the project?
Throughout the project I have used a mixture and range of different shooting styles. Shooting both on location and studious. As well as that I have worked with a variety of different models to create interesting and diverse imagery.
As you will see in evidence , with the vast majority of my images I have used a layering technique within post production. Placing more then one image into one photo. To do this I had taken my studio shot and placed it into a landscape image. Combining the two images to make my final images. I didn’t do this with some of my images , but this was the main technique I used for the majority of my images. In post production , one element I added in particular was to brighten the contrast. With doing this it enhanced the colours In the images. Even though I wanted the images themselves to be dark , with having the colours of the character stand out , I felt the audience would recognise them straight away which then automatically links them to the story I’m focusing on. I also used numerous of styling elements within the image to help aid in describing the character.
With retouching the images , I specifically created them so in a way I altered the reality. Overlapping the reality world with the imaginary world to help intensify the images.
What is sophisticated and innovative about your body of work?
With my body of work , I feel as though I’ve produced a unique style. With adapting my style and adding in elements not other photographers may think to use , I have found that my body of work stands out. Even though their are artists out there who have both captured fantasy/mental health shots. I have found none that have done it in the way I’ve done by combing both the fantasy world and reality to create a whole new concept. Which is why I think my work will go far. Not only that but with my audience I aim to reach individuals of all ages and even children can link with my work. With basing my characters on stories , children are most likely to have an interest , but along the lines I will be teaching them about mental health , a subject they may not necessarily understand at such a young age , but through my work , it may give them more of an understanding , and with combining the Disney characters , the children will be able to relate to my work in some form. With my work being new and fresh (innovative) and focusing on such a worldly talked about subject , I feel a lot of people may be interested in the way and how I’ve represented it from the opinion and view of someone who suffers from it themselves perspective.
With my work being so fresh and new and introducing a topic not everyone is familiar with , but placing the fantasy stories that a wider audience will understand , I feel my images will express the bigger picture and in the hope allow people to not only appreciate my images , but understand the concept of mental health which is the main aspect I’m trying to reach out to amongst my audience.
How have you sustained your engagement over the period of the unit?
Throughout this unit , I have continuously aimed to keep shooting throughout. With having a total of 13 images , I was able to do this. As well as that throughout I constantly kept updating and editing my images within post production. With some of the images needing a larger scale time in post production , I had to keep adjusting and with the feedback I received , I was able to constantly keep applying new adjustments to the image until I was finally satisfied. As well as that I have continuously researched into the subject , both primary and secondary. This can be evidenced within my sketchbooks and blog. Overall I feel I sustained my engagement relatively well and made sure I kept this up throughout the whole project.
How have you chosen to present your project and practise appropriately and to the best effect , how have you considered your audience and the dissemination of the work?
Firstly , through this project , when it came to choosing my models , I didn’t specifically choose to work with professional models. One of the reasons being was because I wanted the shots to look as natural as possible. So through researching and contacting people (some of not worked with before) , I decided to work with individuals who had no experience modelling , apart from the odd 2 and I worked around more with their personalities and who fitted what character. With sticking to the theme , I still wanted the model to portray the characteristics from the character of that story I was focusing on.
The layout of my series was one of the most important elements to me. With having a total of 13 images , I wanted to create something unique and different. Therefore my final decision of the layout was based on having it in a pattern (evidenced in my research) where the images collectively came together but where also separated at the same time. With the subject matter evolving mental health in each image , this brought them together as a series , but what separated them all was the characters and the illnesses I was portraying.
Throughout this unit I have continuously reflected back on who my audience is. Even though I’ve stated previously my audience can be anyone , in particular I looked into focusing it on teens. With their being an increase in mental health amongst teenagers and with the struggle of my own sister , I wanted to create work that allowed anyone to feel they was able to connect with my work. And to know that their not alone and people do understand, and if they don’t quite understand the subject matter , I hope through my photography it will give them more guidance.
With the dissemination of this work , I would like to continue the project once finishing university. I have thoroughly enjoyed this project and would like to create more stories. Even though my subject matter is of mental health , with the style of my imagery , I still found that it will hopefully lead my down the direction of the film industry. With including these images in my portfolio , I have emailed numerous film production companies and theatres to see if they offer any type of work experience as a way of stepping my foot in the door. Not only that but I have also contacted a few organizations/galleries that focus around mental health , inquiring if I’m able to display my work. And then there is the main route which I find will most likely help me the most and that is social media. I will continue to upload my work on both my website and on my Instagram and other social media accounts to open my work to a wider audience. Hoping that with luck , someone will come across my work and offer me a opportunity. I will continue to apply my work to relevant competitions and enquire many organisations to see where I can go next with my work and express to them my ideas of wanting to adapt and add more into my series ‘Once Upon A Nightmare’.
How have you developed your extended body of work and your visual language through synthesis and application of advanced creative methodologies and skills?
Throughout the period of this project , I have continuously researched thoroughly into the subject matter. With not having a huge understanding of the subject matter , I found throughout the time with the project , I have learnt a lot more and gained knowledge that I didn’t have at the start. As well as researching online , I went out and created my own research by constructing my own questionnaire and video that I edited together myself. Asking members of my audience what they thought of the subject matter and it was interesting to see the views and opinions of others that weren’t my own. This then allowed me to feed this information to myself and think a lot when shooting the images.
I felt through shooting and post production my skills have improved heavily , in particular with post production. With having very little knowledge due to not editing my images much beforehand , this project has allowed me the chance to edit a great deal more and learn techniques that I hadn’t done previously. With wanting to get the exact images , post production and the layering of the images was very important to me and I had to make sure I got it right.
With all my research and photographic skills , I was able to combine this all into my imagery to create a new form of reality. And with focusing on such an important matter and combining it with a subject that is made up , I felt it brought out the majority with my thinking behind my imagery and this is shown through the outcome.
Again as I stated above, with the layering of my images , I have been able to produce work that has altered reality , overlapping both the reality and imaginary world to help intensify the images. Given the audience a wider understanding of what exactly I am trying to express within my work. And through the exhibitions , I hope to have achieved this and will reflect on this when I ask the opinions of those viewing my work.