About Images & Words

These photographs are intended to encourage others to think about the relationship between images and words or language and people. There is an added layer of raising awareness of mental health and mental ill health. I wanted a way to incorporate the two together. So, I took pictures of people holding cards with words written on them, and made the words some of those found in the Mental Health Act 1983. Easy!

Think about relationship between images and words

Like many other projects of this nature, it started small and gained momentum as it developed. I love photographs and work in mental health and wanted a way to use my interests in photography to link in with raising mental health awareness. World Mental Health Day 2006 was just around the corner when the work began, so what better event to link in with. I talked to my colleagues about it and the project was born!

From the start, the people involved were enthusiastic. I didn't expect so many to agree to have their pictures taken like this so straight away the project got a little bigger. Then I started shooting photographs and because not everyone was around at the same time I had to shoot again on other days. It grew a little more. Along the way, I developed a greater interest in web building and thought, "why not put the images on the web?" And this is where it is now.

I wanted a random element in the project

In introducing the project I am trying hard not to talk too much about the photographs. I hope that viewers find them interesting and enjoyable to look at just as individual images. When I shot the photographs, I didn't want the person to know what the word was that they were holding. I wanted that random element in the project. Some of them peeked, but on the whole that's what happened. It is of course a project about raising awareness of mental health issues and in some way, I hope the images will contribute to that.

If you have any thoughts about the photographs you can contact me through the feedback page.

World Mental Health Day is celebrated internationally through the World Federation for Mental Health. Their Mission Statement is here. A link to their website is in Resources page.