Video courtesy of Rory Reames
Louis Quail's series, 'Big Brother', is an intimate photographic portrayal of his brother Justin’s struggle with schizophrenia.
It utilises multiple sources of documentation to show his life from different perspectives; his art, my photographs and narration juxtapose with medical and police records.
The work reveals a system in crisis, but at its heart is a love story and a project that values and celebrates those suffering from mental health.
The Faces In Focus 'MIND' exhibition took place in Camberwell at the Blue Shop Cottage.
The photography on display, along with the poetry, spoken word and other performances, helped to raise money and awareness for mental health.
Our chosen charity for the exhibition was Head Talks, an organisation that aims to remove the stigma surrounding mental health by promoting open discussion and community support.
Congratulations to all our finalists for making it into our latest exhibition.
Amy Romer's series, 'In A Sense', tells the story of 12-year-old Alfred, who lives with Asperger Syndrome. When Alfred grows up, he wants to teach people about his condition. The purpose of this work, was to explore Asperger's through Alfred's eyes, giving him a voice to teach.
Ed Little, 'Portrait of Alika'
Ed Little's powerful image of Alika, London-based musician and writer, who was ridiculed in the public eye after a video went viral of him singing Drake's 'Take Care' during a manic episode on the tube. He became a laughing stock amongst his friends, and with his public and private lives falling apart, he lost grip on reality.
After a period of living in a state of psychosis, his sister caught him in the shower fully clothed. He was admitted into an Early Intervention Center for four months, where he was diagnosed with bipolar.
Now a rapper, he only feels his mental health take hold of him while on stage. Music is both his support system, but also his achilles heel, reminding him of difficult times.
Nevertheless, Alika carries on, using his music as a platform to share his story and support others. He isn't defined by his diagnosis and he won't take medication for it. He's a positive, young, black male, using his experiences to inspire and support others through music.
Our MIND series is in aid of Head Talks.
Every one of us will be touched by mental illness at some point in our life, either directly or through someone who is close to us. Head Talks believe there is no single path to mental wellbeing and that people can be helped in finding what works for them through information, inspiration and discussion.
By hosting short talks with psychiatrists, academics, yogis, authors, meditation experts, politicians, nutritionists, those who have struggled with and met the challenge of mental illness, and many others with a keen interest in the mind, Head Talks wants to enable each of us to build our own personal toolbox to support mental wellbeing and stay mentally fit.
By bringing these thoughts and discussions into the open, they aim to help lift the stigma that surrounds mental illness.
Ben Stevens, 'Work, Play, Pray'
This trio of photographs were all taken within touching distance of one another at Malik Ghat flower market in Kolkata, India. The series is intended to illustrate the diversity of Indian life that coexists within such a small expanse of space. ‘Work’ depicts traditional market workers weaving floral decorations: the mind in its most lucid state. ‘Play’ illustrates two young wrestlers after a bout: the mind it its most attentive state. Finally, ‘Pray’ shows the mind its most contemplative state as a man makes offerings to the Ganges River.
Noela Roibás, 'Irmá'
A photographic study of my sister, who has Cri Du Chat syndrome. I started photographing her when we were kids. It brought us closer and helped us to connect with each other, something that would otherwise have been impossible.
It will continue to be the tool with which I contemplate my sister, in a studied and intentional manner, seeking to learn more about her and her world. It is a project of, and for, life.
Massive thanks to all the other photographers who submitted to our latest exhibition.