26th July 2020
While I was researching mental health and photography projects looking for images related to the subject, I came across Eva Charkiewicz, Instagram link here.
* My adventure with photography began after my father died. I did not talk to people and I stopped meeting with people. My depression almost killed me. All the negative emotions that were in me and still are (depression likes to come back), I show in my photos.
* I want to show you my world (my four walls) – my photographs. I was interested in photography after being diagnosed with clinical depression. Photography helped me and still helps me with my emotions.Eva Charkiewicz
For me, it is Charkiewicz’s images that contain movement that have caught my interest and I have shown two examples at the top. The other aspect of the work that I like is the monochromatic colour schemes that she uses to convey feelings and also warmth or coldness.
If we take into account that Charkiewicz death of her father brought her to photography we can see that her images do resemble a spirit moving around her body (top) or engaging with her (bottom). The work really reminds me of Spirit photographs which were very popular in Victorian times. In fact the top images look like an exorcism, which although connected with the spirit world, can also represent mental health, the hidden destroying force that can be felt within those who have an illness.
Twenty one-year-old photographer Edward Honaker documents his own depression in powerful self-portraits. The series of black and white images illustrates the photographer’s experience with depression and anxiety.
In an attempt to raise awareness of the topic, Honaker says about the project: “Mental health disorders are such a taboo topic. If you ever bring it up in conversation, people awkwardly get silent, or try to tell you why it’s not a real problem. When I was in the worst parts of depression, the most helpful thing anyone could have done was to just listen to me – not judging, not trying to find a solution, just listen. I’m hoping that these images will help open up conversation about mental health issues. Everyone is or will be affected by them one way or another, and ignoring them doesn’t make things better.”Jessica Jungbauer ignant.com
It was the above image that caught my eye on the google search on mental health and photographers. The reason that I was interested in this particular image is the fact that I weave my photographs and art work regularly and I had thought of weaving my head in one of my works for assignment 5. That is to say the weaving would not resemble that which I usually do or the above image but it would look like the block glitches that I have learnt to create in Photoshop which would be spaced out just like a glitch would appear on the TV screen. This way I could create the blocks which adjust parts of the image by nudging it to one side and I could also create these blocks with a RGB shift colour on them which again will emphasise the concept ‘glitch’.
The above images that Honaker has produced have caught my interest due to how his approach to subject matter and composition are very different in each of his images. Their are two similarities which are they are all black and white images and that Honaker is present within each composition.
I particularly like how some of Honaker’s images have been split so that they continue their ‘story’ within another picture plane although these ones to me personally do not come across as strong as the single images, they give a ‘gimmicky’ feel to the overall end composition.
27th July 2020
I spent just under two hours searching for individual artists who portraits and self portraits connect with the areas around mental health and although I find the odd image, once I research further they are dead ends due to only a few images by that specific photographer.
28th July 2020
This time I put in Google search, ‘photographing mental health illness’ to see if this will bring up any new websites or names. The first four and the sixth search were websites that I had already explored but the fifth search came up with another Pinterest page. These pages are an excellent source of images however they hardly ever lead on to anything else whether a website or a specific photographer. I took a screen shot of the first few images that this Pinterest page, ‘A2 Mental Health Issues Project-Photograph ideas’ shows which can be seen below.
Within these few images we can see a selection of different styles from factual, staged and manipulated images. The worse thing however was yet again getting sidetracked, by clicking on a few chosen images I came across Levitation shots and how to shoot them and alter them in Photoshop. So that was another two hours learning how to create these instead of getting on with that which I was trying to research.
Clicking on the images however just took me to further Pinterest pages and unfortunately no rentals health series. So this is yet another dead end.
My name is Marius, I am a new media artist living in North London.
I am passionate about conceptual fine art photography, expressing my thoughts and ideas in a surreal, colourful and theatrical way using digital manipulation in photoshop.
Each project consists of research, planned modelling, props and landscape photo shoots from which I gather chosen images to create the final image.
“To be creative means to be in love with life.” – OshoMarius Els, Bored Panda boredpanda.com
Marius Els was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2013 (I hope my maths is correct). With this mental health disorder comes a very big battle with symptoms such as illusions, paranoia, depression, mania, anxiety and psychotic episodes. Els then began to use photography as a way of exploring and understanding his diagnosis which provided him with a way to express his emotions and fears during both manic and depressive episodes.
Having first hand experience of living with someone with Bipolar, I can fully understand Els could produce work when he is manic as there is an abundance of energy, little sleep and a type of ‘I can do anything’ mentality but I am wondering how he created such amazing images when he was depressed. This is because my ex when he suffered with the depression side of his bipolar could not even lift his head of his bedroom pillow, it was like he had died, there wasn’t anything, not even a small spark of energy or enthusiasm to even get him to hold his pen or type a word (he is an author and journalist).
You can indeed tell by the three examples above from the post on Bored Panda that Els has spent a very long time planning and preparing his work from the initial idea stage, the many individual shoots that he has had to complete and then the montaging of the images together to produce his final one in Photoshop.
The first time I saw this Seasons of the Mind project, a title that fits so well with Bipolar Disorder, all I could think of was Salvador Dali. Once I had moved beyond my initial ‘Dali’ reaction I began to look at the complex interweaving of images that were within each composition.
To be honest I cannot relate the experiences I have living with my ex Bipolar fiancé with these images. The colours do actually match, the darkness of the depression and the colour of the manic episodes but the little images, which remind me of religious icons but related personally to Marius Els, I cannot read what they want me to know. Perhaps this is the point, Els Bipolar diagnosis is his, we each react differently within our own disgnosis and lives, perhaps this is Els in symbolic form?
29th July 2020
I am a bit sad, actually to be honest more than a bit sad, as I have been unable to find any artists or photographers who produce photographic images around the theme of mental health. I know for a fact there must be many, many out there but it is knowing the exact wording for a Google search.
Therefore this time I will be even more specific and search for domestic violence and photography to see if there are some images that are being produced around mental health and domestic violence.
I happen to find first ‘Behind Closed Doors’ by Donna Ferrato on TIME/ 100 Photos website. I remembered my tutor had mentioned this project and photographer and we had a conversation about the ethics in the work etc… I then went on to buy it from America, this. book specifically as there is a message inside the front cover signed by Donna herself. The actual project cannot be used as inspiration for my assignment because it is recording abuse as it happens, my mental health from the abuse I suffered is what I am trying to convey in glitches, how it feels rather than what it looks like.
This proved to be another dead end as the images I managed to find were true depictions of violence against a partner as they have happened.
So here I have decided to end my search for images that related to mental health portraiture, disappointed.