See Change Launch ‘Look Beyond’ photovoice research project
See Change’s ‘Look Beyond’ photovoice research project was launched in Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin 8, on Wednesday 25th October with the help of Professor Jim Lucey of St Patrick’s Mental Health Services. The exhibition, which seeks to give insight into the often unseen reality of what it means to have a mental health problem, will be travelling nationwide throughout the end of this year and 2018. Each photograph was taken and captioned by someone who lives with mental health difficulties in order to shed light on their experiences and create a dialogue between them and the viewer. 16 people took part in ‘Look Beyond’ taking hundreds of pictures and ultimately choosing over 30 to be part of the exhibition and 90 in the associated catalogue which you can view here.
‘Look Beyond’ will be exhibited over the October bank holiday weekend in Filmbase Friday 27th, Saturday 28th, Sunday 29th and Tuesday 31st until 2pm. The photographs will be on display in Inchicore library from Wednesday 1st November until Friday 17th November. ‘Look Beyond’ will then travel to the Hunt Museum in Limerick with a special launch on the evening of Tuesday 21st November. It will be exhibited there until Sunday 3rd December. More dates and venues are to be confirmed for 2018.
At the launch in Smock Alley, See Change project manager Celine Moran thanked the 16 participants who told their stories in ‘Look Beyond’. She thanked researchers Dr Maria Quinlan and Dr Etáin Quigley for their passion in facilitating and delivering ‘Look Beyond’ and helping See Change to bring the project to fruition. Ms Moran also thanked Professor Jim Lucey for helping See Change launch the exhibition and contributing his knowledge and understanding of the power of personal narratives and creativity in unlocking people’s experiences.
Speaking about the 16 participant photographers Ms Moran said, “I really want to thank them tonight for bravely taking part, using the images and the captions to show us the challenges of living with mental health difficulties. Through the images and the captions they’ve shown their expertise, their knowledge and their wisdom to us all. It’s a great opportunity for us all to get a better understanding of mental health for ourselves and those around us”.
A 40 minute panel discussion chaired by Director of See Change John Saunders took place featuring Dr Maria Quinlan, See Change Ambassador and ‘Look Beyond’ participant Rick Rossiter, Professor Jim Lucey and ‘Look Beyond’ participant Paul O Rourke. The discussion revolved around the importance of finding new ways of communicating our experiences of mental health, what it was like to take part in the process and how the photovoice methodology has been used in the past as a tool for illustrating unique human experiences.
The night concluded with light refreshments, with many attendees taking their time to engage with the photographs, using the opportunity to start a conversation about mental health.