Based on the international ‘Photovoices’ programme, Depth of Me is a partnership project between Hampshire Cultural Trust and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. NHS patients have been given the opportunity to create their own photography and poetry to give voice to patients and their experiences.
The project explores photography in workshop style sessions that involve patients, carers and Southern Health staff. The aim of the project is to provide a platform for patients and carers to share the impact of using Southern Health services through photography. The photographs and poetry created through workshops led by, professional photographer from In Focus and poet from Artful Scribe, will be curated by the group to form an interesting, powerful and insightful exhibition touring Cultural Trust venues.
Niamh Dalziel, who leads on patient and carer involvement, is leading the project. She explained, "The idea of ‘Depth of Me’ came about when we heard of similar projects successfully organised in London and internationally. Being new to the Trust, I wanted to look at alternative ways for us to listen to patient and carer’s stories and this seemed perfect."
Professional photographer and Co-Director of In Focus, Xavier Fiddes, has led all the photography sessions. He added “Using photography for this project has been great way for the people involved to express themselves. They may not fully know how to take the ‘perfect photo’, but they have been given guidance and a safe space to create without judgement. The project has been extremely rewarding, everyone who has come to the workshops has engaged massively and it’s been amazing to see how ideas have developed over the course of six weeks we have been with the group.”
The project workshops were filmed by Drop the Mask Productions which will be shown at the final touring venue, Westbury Manor Museum in Fareham.
The powerful exhibition of patients’ photography and poetry is touring at the following Hampshire Cultural Trust venues:
- Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham: 20 July – 23 August currently open for participants in classes and workshops only and not to the general public
- Andover Museum: Fri 4 Sept – Thu 1 October open to public : information on opening times and how to book is available at hampshireculture.org.uk
- Westbury Manor Museum Tue 24 Oct – 28 November – open to public : information on opening times and how to book is available at hampshireculture.org.uk
‘I think this is so important. When you’re in mental health places it can all be about pills and appointments which can make you feel stuck. This art projects is just so brilliant because it’s made me feel like ‘me’ and enjoy myself. It’s really important to feel that way. Thankyou.’