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Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Depth of Me - A photography project

July 2020
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Depth of Me, a project based on the international ‘Photovoices’ programme, has been delivered in partnership with Hampshire Cultural Trust.

The project was created to provide a platform for patients and carers, take part in photography and poetry masterclasses and go onto create their own work to reflect themselves and their story.

Photography and poetry created by the project's participants have now formed an inspiring exhibition which will travel to three venues around Hampshire.

The exhibition dates and details are:

  • Westbury Manor Museum: Tue 24 Oct – 28 November – open to public – check opening times and booking


We partnered with Hampshire Cultural Trust, who provided the project with brilliant spaces across Hampshire, where we were able to host the workshops.

Each workshop included a photography masterclasses, led by Xavier Fiddes. These session enabled participants and staff to learn about using a camera and how to get the best results from their own devices. Xavier Fiddes, Director of Infocus, has been a huge support of the project, and designed the sessions to be fun and accessible for all participants and staff. We also had support from ArtfulScribe, who led a session on writing poetry and connecting photos with words. The purpose of these sessions was to give participants the tools, knowledge and the confidence to take their own photos and write their own poetry to tell their story. 

All those who participated in the project had the opportunity to submit work they created during Depth of Me, to create an interesting, powerful and insightful exhibition, to be shown in a series of venues, provided by Hampshire Cultural Trust.

Unfortunately, the exhibition of Depth of Me has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The launch of the exhibition will now be virtual and all those involved in the project will be invited to see a private preview of the displayed artwork.

We have also been supported by Drop the Mask Productions (DTMP), a local not for profit, social enterprise production company that focuses on authentic connections and fantastic results. Greg White, one of the Directors of DTMP, has been working on the project from the very beginning. He and his brilliant team have produced an incredibly moving and inspiring documentary of the project and its journey.

The documentary is available to watch on DTMP’s YouTube channel 

We would like to share our thanks with all those who made this project possible. 

A message from Greg White, Director at Drop The Mask Productions 

"Drop The Mask Productions CIC was born out of the mental health difficulties experienced by both of the directors of the business. The aim of DTMP is to train volunteers and employees with mental health in all forms of media and IT and work for DTMP CIC.

With the Depth of Me project with Southern NHS we were able to film their workshops and see the amazing results from anyone involved. They have suffered with their own mental health, but the project has allowed them to be creative, because we do not have a hierarchy as such in DTMP but only a loose structure. Filming this project has probably helped over 20 people directly or indirectly with their mental health."

Here is an online version of the incredible exhibition, created by the participants of the Depth of Me project...



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Submission from Emma Moore

Photograph to the left and poem below.


In the mind of the beholder

There is a woman standing in front of you and they tell me she is

beautiful

 

They tell me her smile lights up the room when she talks of poetry and science.

I’ve never seen it.

But I’ve crammed all night to make sure I know what to say when people ask "oh I wonder how that works"

 

They say she is funny

They are laughing at you I say

But at least they are laughing she says

 

They say she is Kind and always has words of wisdom I ask her should

she really be interfering She says She’s learned the hard way and now

they don’t have to

 

They tell me that she loves fiercely and looks for the good in everyone.

I tell her they will all leave her one day.

She says then she will love them until they do

 

They tell me that she is Brave

But I am afraid. You will fall again I say Still she rises

 

One day I want to be just like her

Then maybe I’ll be beautiful too



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Submission from Lara

Photograph to the left and poem below. 



Broken. 

Scattered, Shattered.

Shadow of myself.

Darkness, can be so loud chaotic…dead.

Can’t feel it, can’t touch it… it grips me.

There is no light.

Sometimes it soothes, sometimes it’s terror.

… there is a light …

I can glimpse it

I can see… it’s my reflection…?

It’s there, I can see it. I can touch it.

It’s beautiful, alive…

I’m still in the shadow

But, this is all a part of…

This is the Depth of Me.

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Submission from Phillip


Both photographs to the left.

Submission from Siobhan


Three photographs and three poems below.

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Awareness campaigns everywhere

On the television and my phone

Talking to me to talk to you

A day, a week, a year

 

Wellness tools and mental health

A template and a phone number

Yoga, breathing, going for a walk

Talk, speak and open up

 

I show my support, encourage others to reach out

Write a sanitised version of my struggles

Share the government’s resources

Change my profile picture

 

“Ask for help, we’re here…”

 

Progress has been made, there is no doubt

But now I want to scream and shout. Can’t you see?!

“The time for talking has passed!” we yell

From the shadows, the fringes, from behind the locked doors

 

Your awareness campaigns forget us

We do not fit your cleansed version of “depression” and “anxiety”

We’re not the “right” kind of ill

Some even argue it’s our personalities that are wrong

 

We suffer the injustices of a system designed to care

We wait, and wait, and wait

We balance the line between “too complex” and “not ill enough”

 

I don't have the answers

But I still have things to say

Now sit down and listen

Then go away... and act

 

 

Siobhan Spowart, April 2020

Pillars

[In]visible

Holding me

Never judgemental

Always there, loving me, forever kind

 

Siobhan Spowart, March 2020

Bluebells

When my mind was numb and filled with darkness; the world reminded me of its beauty.

 



Siobhan Spowart, April 2020

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Submission from Sandra


Photograph to the left and two poems; Imagination and Rollercoaster.


Imagination

The photo that I took

Looks like a tree

It probably started from a seed

 

See how it stands , very proud

In front of a cobbled white stone wall

A great combination for all to see

     

But what do I see?

The vast green foliage spays out like a fan

It displays a mirror image of proportion in grand

 

The white stone wall reminds me of a cake base

And the green foliage is the topping

       

 A complete picture of its own

This shows me we don’t always see

Things the way they are meant to be

                     





Rollercoaster

 Everyone of us is on a journey

My life has sent me on many twists and turns

The pain of many emotional years

Spilling out of control

Going of the rails

 

Back on track I’m taking it slow

Whether it be on a road, train, plane or boat

I’m going somewhere?

And this I know

 

It doesn’t mean I have to journey on my own

I was never meant to be alone

By getting the support and love I need

This will put me in a place

Where I desire to be

 

This will make me a complete new me.

 

  

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Submission from Richard


Photograph to the left.

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