Mental Imagery

*trigger warning some of this content may cause emotional harm to reader so please be cautious*

Hey! It’s me again six months later with a blog post I have wanted to write for a while now. I am sorry for being gone for so long but life has taken another toll on me. I have been lacking motivation these past few months but I am hoping that this will bring me back into full swing. Now enough about be and my lazy ways lets get on with the actual content of this blog.

Mental imagery is a project I keep really close to my heart. I gave this project the title ‘mental imagery’ due to its fundamental roots of being about the way an individual feels when experiencing their own mental illnesses; whether it be my own personal reflection on mental health issues or anothers, this project to me just shows those buried up feelings that we find so hard to ignore. I took it upon myself to create this mental health awareness photoshoot as part of my A level Photography exam last year. This project isn’t just the most enjoyable project I have done so far but the most important one to me. The theme is mental illness awareness for the main reason being that people with mental illnesses are often swept under the rug and aren’t helped but are discriminated against. I was told to portray ‘issues and observations’ in the world we live in so here is the perspective on mine. I have titled each photograph in its caption because sometimes that’s all you need to understand things so I hope you understand the edits I have created and how much I value them individually.

I had found this edit of Dylan O’Brien on tumblr and I honestly fell in love with it. It gave me that demonic vibe which showed self conflict and the way a person has their inner demons they resist on a day to day basis. I was lucky enough to find a very similar font on Photoshop to the one in the edit to write the words ‘lose your mind’ at the bottom and yes my take on the edit isn’t a facial close-up like the original edit but I still like the way it came out. To me this edit presents that numbness that we feel when we don’t want to feel the pain that comes with the struggle, the heartlessness and the emptiness.

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dancing with your demons: I have to say, after I did do that first edit where one eye was blacked out I became obsessed. Having the eyes of the model blacked out honestly gives the photograph a sense of darkness that is imbedded in people. In this photograph I chose to use it as an emotionless aspect where a person who suffers from a mental illness like anxiety or depression feels like their very life is being sucked out of their shell and all is left is a hollow body.

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I put the photographs in a slideshow because to me the transformation from the coloured edit to the black and white edit shows a story of its own. In these edits I was ultimately trying to show PTSD or ADHD, however, after I made a black and white edit it was more than that. It was more of a stage where a person, who has difficulty opening up to others, is life takes the turn for the worse because they can’t cope and they feel like they live in this broken world. A broken world where there are no colours, no emotions and no empathy for the broken.

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mirror your conscious: this photograph is a ‘self’ portrait and yes those are chubby fingers and arms. This piece isn’t the best of edits but it helped me show self-consciousness. How a person dislikes the skin their in or the reflection they are forced to look at on a daily basis. There’s also an infinity sign on my wrist which is hard to see as it’s folded into my skin but I initially put it there for the awareness of self-harm. As some of you may know self-harm awareness day was just the other day and it might be a topic I’ll open up about in the future but many people go through such a thing when it comes to some mental illnesses so I just wanted that element to be present in at least one of my photographs.

 

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two places at once: what this edit portrays isn’t as simple as I would think nor is it even as deep as I intended it to be. In this project I mainly used the overlaying of two or more photographs to display mental illnesses such as personality disorder, bipolar, ADHD and schizophrenia. However, now that I look at this image I see quick movements and agile thoughts, I see those moments where your mind is flitting from one thought to another with such confusion and urgency that you don’t understand yourself anymore. I see feeling lost and afraid of what is in store for you in the future. I see a person who is literally whipping naeing and I have no bloody idea why (oh God what have I done?)
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disorientated scribbles: an edit that I used to explain the emotionlessness we feel in the times of hardship. The way we build up walls that we make sure are hard to knock down because we have been hurt too many times or we’re too anxious to want to know how it feels to feel. we become disorientated and lifeless but embedded on the surface of our skin is a sprinkle of a little hope, a little colour, that one day we will come out of our shells, one day we will blossom.
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mastery of faces: in which a person covers up there emotions by being someone they’re not. The way an individual can feel more than one things all at once and not at all. As you probably can already tell by now most of these edits don’t have a specific mental illness to them because they can be related to so many and this one isn’t any different. The basis of feeling or seeing more than one perspective of life and feeling things others may just not understand. I feel like in this project I was showing some things that words just can’t express sometimes and I wanted this to help.
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interchanging personalities: yes this edit presents a very basic form of bipolar because bipolar is more than just the change in moods. I wanted to express two moods that were both very strong and elevated. In one of the photographs in the overlap the model is overly excited and jumping for joy, whereas in the other, the model looks fuming like she’s out for blood and they are exactly what I wanted from these photographs. Most people suffering with bipolar or other mental illness feel too much and sometimes feeling too much is a curse in itself and sometimes it can be a blessing.

 

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dimensional differences: I usually don’t pick favourites because they end up making me feel deflated about the rest, however, this is hands down my favourite photograph in this project. To me this photograph shows everything I wanted to show in this project from the feeling of confusion and wandering to the core evil feeling we feel from time to time. I used the scribbles to connote the thoughts and emotions that fly all over the place and almost always never make sense. I used two different models to portray the connection we have with our consciousness and our inner demons. I used the blacked out eyes and the black and white colours to make sure this photograph showed the darkness embedded with people in pain and the stigmas they have to face for going through things they can’t help going through. I use this image to show the world people who suffer from mental illnesses are no less human then the rest of you.

Well that’s most of the photographs from my project. There are a few others but I don’t feel like they meet the standards of even being shown to people. Keep it in mind these photographs were made a year ago and I have developed as a person and in skills since then. If I could’ve done anything differently I would have probably have had more models and represented more mental illnesses such as OCD, Pyromania, Anorexia, Anxiety and Psychosis because honestly people aren’t aware of the majority of the mental illnesses out there and that is something that has to change- we have to change.

We just don’t need to be aware about mental health but make it known that it’s okay not to be okay, its okay to suffer and its okay to feel the way you do. What is not okay is suffering alone and being afraid to speak out because you are scared the world will laugh at you. What’s not okay is that those 1 in 3 people who go through any mental illness at least once in their lives have to do it alone and why? because it’s stigmatised? Why is it so hard for people to see that she’s not doing it for attention and he’s just trying cope with the voices in his head. I hope one day we can all  be able to stand up to the stigmatisation of mental illnesses and be able to understand that not everyone can do it all alone.

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I hope you guys liked that. Let me know of any improvements I can make to the content of my posts and what else you would like to see from me. I am thinking of doing a few baking blogs soon so maybe some cakes, biscuits and doughnuts will be coming your way in the near. Also my goal is to post at least once every month and I know that was my original plan but I pray that I can keep up with it because I honestly enjoy writing these. I’ll hopefully see you guys next month!

-Tamrina

 

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2 thoughts on “Mental Imagery

  1. “Dimensional differences”, was my favourite shot by far. Your blog post was incredibly raw and truthful and, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Mental illnesses needs to be made more aware of! Can’t wait for your next post,
    Rumaysa x

    Liked by 1 person

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