Once a month I host a night of discussion for photographers in Shoreditch, London. We are a satellite group of London Independent Photographers (LIP) which has been running for over 25 years, and has a great magazine showcasing members’ work 3 times a year.
In our group we showcase finished work and projects in progress. Last night, by chance, turned out to be a Mental Health Special, as 3 out of 4 of the showcased photographers had work connected to the subject.
Michael McGuinness kicked off, a recent graduate of Photojournalism MA at Westminster University. He has been working in collaboration with Birmingham and Solihull Health Trust, and has photographed patients within their care. It’s a mixture of portraits and reportage-style images presented as a final piece in a newspaper, plus more experimental media within his exhibition. He even printed one of his images on a lady’s headscarf, amongst the items that are for sale. Michael has had paid work offered to him to continue similar projects, which indicates that he has made a successful impression on the Health Trust. So is this a way for clients to undergo therapy? Apparently so, as Michael encourages subjects to use cameras while he’s engaging with them.
I am excited to see how the work evolves, as the photographer is committed to continue along the broad theme of mental health. He’s produced a great set of images, though I think his work will only get stronger the more he engages with the subject.