Slide One :Title Page
Slide Two: Inspirations
From previous units, I have had a huge interest in the work of Thomas Czarnecki and he was one of the main inspirations that inspired me to work with the fantasy theme, but adding a twist to the images. I wanted to incorporate mental health into my project and this has been influenced heavily because of my sister’s underling mental health problems. She has been battling with mental health issues for numerous years which has sometimes led to very dangerous circumstances. Bearing this in mind, I thought that by creating this project, not only would it allow me to try to understand her issues, but hopefully act as a form of therapy not only for myself but also for my sister and others.
Slide Three: Project’s context
My project is based upon a series of Mental Health images based in the fantasy world. I had the idea to create a series of images that were based on Disney fairy tale characters and have each character display or represent an illnesses that reflected a mental health issue or a side effect caused by it. Altering the reality of today’s lifestyles by combing the imaginary world by placing the ‘imperfect’ in the perfect’.
Slide Four: Moodboards
Here are some examples of inspirational moodboards I placed together to help inspire me with ideas for the project.
Slide Five: Photographic Methods used
I shot digitally throughout the project, knowing that I needed to merge different images to create the final image I wish to portray through photo manipulation. I have constantly shot at many different outdoor locations, as well as in the studio. The methods I have used on the majority of my images is layering through post production. Combing both some of my studio shots and placing them into the landscape shot to create one image. With the still life shots, I have also increased the colours to enhance the reflection upon the character I am focusing on, within that image.
Slide six: What’s Sophisticated and innovative about my work?
I feel as though I’ve produced unique images by using Disney characters depicting mental health issues and combining it with my own style of photography. Numerous photographers have used Disney characters in a dark way or used models to depict mental health issues but I have not come across any photographer that has combined the both, so this is where I feel my work sticks out.
I am hoping that the audience will not only enjoy the images that I have produced, but that they will delve deeper into the images and get a better understanding of how a person with mental health issues are feeling.
Slide Seven: How have I sustained my engagement?
I have continuously researched throughout the project, both online and individual research. As well constantly shooting and edited each image via post production until I was totally happy with the final image. I have also continued my engagement through tutorials as well as working through my sketchbook and blog.
Slide Eight: Artist Research
Listed are some examples of the artists I researched during this project. In particular these chosen artists are the ones whose work I was inspired by the most and who linked in nicely with my own project.
Slide Nine: Outsider Gallery
Among the many research I did in both photography and Mental Health, I found that Outsider galley rather interesting. The Outsider Gallery is a gallery based in London and is the only Gallery in London that is centred entirely on Mental Health. At the gallery, they offer both music and art therapy sessions for those suffering with mental health issues, who then can showcase their creative art work or music. The gallery first started in the year of 2016. It was all down to the NHS Dragons den award which was given funds to help develop Jon’s (One of the founders) music therapy work.
Slide Ten: Characters Research
With working with a variety of different characters, I had to thoroughly research into each one to see what their personalities and characters were portrayed as in the stories. This then allowed me to look into selecting models who I thought would match perfectly with the character. In fact I used a lot of individuals who had not model before as I wanted the shots to look as natural as possible and less posed. With each characters personality shining through with displaying the mental illnesses I was focusing on.
Slide Eleven: Individual research
Apart from doing online and book research, I decided to do my own personal research by creating a questionnaire and video to enhance my research. Around 40 people, who were both sufferers and non-sufferers of mental health were asked for their own opinion on what mental health meant to them via a video clip. This allowed me to see their views and opinions on this subject matter with very interesting results which was a great help to better understanding of my subject matter.
Slide Twelve: My audience
Even though I’ve stated previously my audience can be anyone, in particular I wanted to try and focus it on teenagers. Mental health has increased amongst teenagers and with it being so close to home with my sister, I still wanted to create work that allowed anyone to feel they was able to connect with my photos. I even want to include children, although some viewers may not find it suitable but I am hoping children will also be able to link with my work.
By basing my characters from 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 some understanding and with combing 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 a very topical subject, I feel a lot of people may be interested in the way I have represented it, from the opinion and perspective view of someone who suffers from it themselves.
Slide Thirteen: Dissemination
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 in my own imagery, I am still hoping it will lead me in the direction of the film industry. Having 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 getting my foot in the door. I have also contacted a few organizations/galleries that focus around mental health, inquiring if I’m able to display my work as well as social media. I will continue to upload my work on both my website and on my Instagram as well as other social media accounts to open my work to a wider audience. With luck, someone will come across my work and hopefully offer me an opportunity. I will continue to apply my work to relevant competitions and enquire into 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’.
Slide Fourteen: How have you developed your extended body of work etc.……?
I have continuously built upon my research through numerous different methods. As well as that I have continued to shoot and edit in post-production through the layering of my images. By retouching my images, I have created an altered reality. Overlapping both the imaginary world and reality world to help with intensifying the real meaning behind my images.
Slide Fifteen + Sixteen + Seventeen: Final Images
Displayed are my final images. I feel I’ve really portrayed exactly what I wanted through the choice in costume, character, location and the way I have edited to highlight mental health issues. Through hard work and dedication I managed to get the end result that I wanted. Through tutorial feedbacks I look into having a title for each character as well as adding a quote from the different storybook characters.
Slide Eighteen + Nineteen + Twenty: Quotes + Titles
Following feedback from tutorials, we thought it best to have titles for each character within the series. As well as having a title I also decided to have a quote which would relate to each character and the illnesses itself, without stating the obvious. When deciding on my characters names, I decided to type up the mental illnesses in the thesaurus and then choose another word which related to that, therefore I wasn’t making it too obvious in the title to what the illnesses was. The idea for the quotes was to take either words/quotes from the films that linked in that character or online sources which I found would work as the voice of each character. I’m hoping to be able to mount the titles with the work for the exhibition which is also shown in my mock up layout for the exhibition.
Slide Twenty One: Final layout for the exhibition
The example is of how I would like my work to be displayed in the exhibition. The reason behind this layout was with having a series of 13 images, and the project being so innovative, I needed to think of an interesting and unique way to display the work. With each image telling its own story, I wanted to display them separately but then bring them collectively together as a series through creating a pattern in where the images connect up.
Slide Twenty Two: Evaluation
To conclude I am very pleased with the outcome of my project. I would like to continue this project and add more to the series. If I was to improve an element of the project, it would be to get more feedback on the ways in how to mount my images to the best ability I can. I’ve found this project has been a great learning curve and whilst doing what I love, I was able to learn a lot more about the subject matter as well.