This shows the impact that lockdown had on me. I couldn’t see any of my friends or do the sports that I enjoy doing. We couldn’t go outside or to school, either.
This is how I felt about both myself and the person who bullied me at my previous school.
An image taken beyond the Hayward Gallery along London’s Southbank.
The title “17” relates to the uncanny feeling of a celebratory time. The subject is alone, reflecting on lockdown, COVID, and the effects that they had on these important moments that would normally be celebrated with family and friends.
This image is part of a project I have been working on which revolves around men’s mental health. Society doesn’t take it seriously enough, using derogatory phrases whenever a man shows any kind of emotion. I chose to use phrases such as ‘firm up’, so that young men and boys would relate to it.
Don’t hide your sadness behind fake smiles. Stay true to yourself and don’t be shy to show what you feel!
This captures determination through uncertain times.
This idiosyncratic and emotive piece depicts the peculiar mannerisms of individuality in society. It speaks to the social disparities of mindset and feeling out of place within an overwhelming environment.
My plans suddenly changed and I struggled with the uncertainty that followed.
Even in the darkest of times, our communities are able to come together and help those most in need. The different tones within the umbrella reflect how everyone in this world is connected to one another.
A disconnection from the sense of identity.
I took this picture of the area I like to go to on my own, during the night time. I find the waves so calming and the area is blocked off, so no one can disturb me. Parts of the docks are also falling apart, but that also makes it fun to climb on.
His happy place.
I wanted this self portrait to convey that through the difficult times during the pandemic, no matter how dark the world got, there was always some sort of light to look to.
This photo is about me wanting to push everyone away from me because I felt like I wasn't good enough.
Life is powerful.
I know how it feels to get these sudden and powerful waves of emotion that are full of sadness, loneliness and anxiety. It’s a feeling that I’ve always struggled to describe in words because it’s just so intense and overpowering. So, I chose to focus on the word overwhelming and wanted to express that through my image.
This photo is a comment on a young person’s life, focussing on the uneasiness of being watched and judged and the negative affect that can have on a someone’s life.
My submission is based on how invisible mental health can be. I have used the technique of badger lighting to illuminate one side of the model’s face to represent what people can see. However, the other side of her face – which is in the dark – represents what people can’t see . The leaves represent that people try to cover their issues and not talk about them.
The petal is falling off, and feels tired.
This image represents how we have all felt over the last two years during the pandemic. It feels like we have been living in limbo, trapped in our houses. The levitation aspect represents surrealism, because the times we are living in feel so surreal compared to our normal life.
I wanted to represent the feeling of being trapped, which is how I felt during lockdown. I photographed my brother, who stood behind a mesh material, to create the feeling of something being in the way. I also added lots of different bright colours to the image to make it unusual and abstract, which convey that lockdown felt very surreal.
I created this photograph to represent the unheard voices of young women and girls around the world who suffer in silence and are repressed. I made the image black and white in order to give it a sombre appearance with high levels of contrast. The blindfold represents the world not seeing them, the hands on the ears represent the world not listening, the hands on the mouth represent the world not championing their voices.
Do you feel safer or happier when you are with someone else?
Scopaesthesia is the psychic feeling that you're being watched by an unknown force, causing a constant state of paranoia.
I wanted to express how sometimes growing up can feel confusing and chaotic, like being fired out of a cannon on a trajectory that you can't change. This is a self-portrait so I could vividly express my emotions and thoughts exactly how I wanted to and add a sense of vulnerability.
What confusion looks like in my head.
Sometimes, I feel like I exist in different forms, all of which say “I’m okay”. I feel as if all of that’s going to fade away someday, leaving me with the best version of myself. That feeling can be confusing and it affects decision-making in the teenage life..
The bubble reflects feelings of hope.
This piece is representative of being in a dark place, but showing that there's always something out there for you, despite being small. I've named it Noori, which means "my light".
I feel like I am seeing the world from my sister's perspective, which makes me distressed because she is profoundly and complexly disabled and the world is tough for her.
Here, you can see eyes that are constantly watching and judging you. One wrong move and they are ready to jump on you and reset you to the bottom. And that's what I am feeling.
Darkness hides what we cannot see and although this image embodies facial expressions, we cannot see that which is surrounding it.
This piece addresses period poverty and the stigma around menstrual cycles. It’s visceral and eye-catching. It resonates with many teenagers, because it captures the idea of being watched, judged and overwhelmed. The different opacity shows how complex, hidden and inescapable emotions can be. The direct eye contact of the model along with the red colour scheme is both a cry for help and indication of the teenage mental health epidemic. It creates unity and empathy between the viewer and model, allowing different types of people to connect to it.
This piece was made to be a reference for a painting but I think it shows the meaning I wanted to convey in this form. The person in the image is me.
When I feel stressed, lonely, pensive and contemplative, I tend to dream about the future. This butterfly is representative of the butterfly effect, a theory where one action leads to another, hence the slight block of colours in the picture. I have similar colours to indicate that your dreams can be achieved, despite currently being separate to your reality. The butterfly’s wings represent building up to your dreams through the actions you make.
A half-complete barley harvest, captured in the summer of 2021.
Every day presents a challenge, but I am learning how to cope.
This image represents us taking off the mask and allowing people to see our faces. The emotion in the image can be seen either positively or negatively. Is taking off our masks the right thing to do?
This image represents the harmony and beauty in the environment around us. The model is seeing her version of the world through her view of harmony and hopefulness and we can share that view with her through the colours and boldness of the image. As teenagers, we are the next generation that will be in charge of saving the planet and hopefully restoring the full beauty that once was. The model is imagining the world beyond her reach that she can restore and heal, hence the bandage and being blinded by the harmony of the environment.
A spark of light during a dark time.
My image represents conflicting emotions, the blue right side representing sadness and the orange left side representing anger. The middle side represents the mind trying to process emotions without the world knowing how you’re feeling.
This photograph displays sorrow. I wanted it to feel solemn yet tranquil, so I used a pastel colour palette. I wanted it to have a futuristic appearance, so I included a semi-metallic overlay, which is often seen in the vaporwave style/genre.
The past two years have gone by very quickly, but nothing has changed in my life. I’m at a stand still point. We can see time moving but I continue to stand still.
This tyre, tree and leaves seem to have been in this forest garden forever, never moved or tended to. Nature has been left alone to thrive during lockdown – one of the few positives. It made our planet a much healthier, less polluted one!
We worked really hard to capture this image. The effects took some time to adjust until it looked just right and I was happy with it. The glitter and hair made me feel confident about myself.
Pigeons, often misunderstood and despised, are a staple of the urban wildlife in my hometown of Great Yarmouth, often seen scavenging human scraps! I wanted to show them in a different light.
I love getting up really early to have quiet time to myself. I've got 3 younger brothers, so time alone is really important to me.
This photo portrays unescapable feelings of anxiety and how it can make us feel trapped.
Dissociation is a mental process of disconnecting from your thoughts, feelings, memories or sense of identity.
To create this image, I took a photograph and developed it in the dark room. I then sewed into it with embroidery thread. The thread represents tension and stress being released through vocalisation.
I wanted to capture the sense of peace and freedom, using just a light.
If you keep up an act for so long, you’ll forget yourself. You’ll end up two-faced, not knowing which one is you and which one is false.
This photo represents the chaos that happens in the heads of each and every one of us.
Let me out, let me out! That's how I felt sometimes during lockdown. I just wanted to get away from those four walls and that screen! Wow, my eyes! Trapped, trapped, trapped. Let me out, let me out!
I sometimes feel shy, especially after so long in lockdown and being off school, so I love the idea of hiding behind this waterfall.
I named this piece Puzzled due to the overwhelming colours scattered across the image, showing the feeling of confusion and disfiguration. By using a slow shutter speed, I created a light painting photography. This relates to mental health because as people can feel out of place, so too is this image.
Lost from your way,
you lay on the ground,
desperate to be found.
This is what it feels like when my friends and people at school bully or don't acknowledge me.
I wanted this image to show that not all tears are the same. In fact, crying can represent strength, affection, loss, love, laughter, sorrow, pity and more. Through tears, we can express a myriad of emotions.
Stuck in a dead end job.
This is my best friend Daisy who was reunited this year with my other best friend Sunny. They had missed each other over lockdown. Now we are free to see all of our friends and the feeling of loneliness that I had last year has been replaced with hope and friendship.
This photo shows someone overcoming a rough patch and learning to love themselves.
The old, torn curtains popping out of a rotting window frame made me think about what is must have been like for someone who lived on their own during lockdown, especially an elderly person. They may have been stuck in a cold room with no one to talk to –isolated – feeing it to be too dangerous to go outside. I felt like that at times, but at least I had my family with me.
This shows that, even after grieving, the loss of a loved one still affects us everyday. It’s a feeling that never truly goes away.
The lonely thoughts of being a teenager.
This image was inspired by the fact that mental health in the young is often overlooked and how we are not checked up on enough.
I'm currently living in London, but travelled to my home town in Canada over Christmas break. I was walking through the mountains and felt calm and at peace, so I took this picture to capture the emotion.
The water in this photograph makes it look as if the tree is crying; I love the way this tiny puddle is just sitting on this washed up piece of driftwood. In a way, it looks like an eye with unshed tears.
I have been using prisms and colour to distort my photographs to create a dreamscape. I have been looking at my relationship with my mother and how it is translated through my dreams.
To me, this image sums up the feeling of losing two of my lovely aunties to cancer. The skull is covered in medication labels, giving hope. I keep seeing this skull in school, so I photographed it one day and edited it to show darkness surrounding it. This stirs up a lot of emotion for me.
This photo is accompanied by a poem, both of which represent emotions that I felt in May of the first lockdown. In March, we were told that lockdown would only last a few weeks. By May, many people had lost hope and I wanted to replicate my emotions during this time. The model faded into the dark background represents how there were many days where I forgot the time or date. I shared to poem it show how we hide our feelings to stay strong.