Corinne Perry

Corinne Perry's photography is a form of therapy, a personal, emotive and sometimes turbulent struggle with the complexity of emotions. Life and art have become intertwined and to bury this mind set deep within her would only allow it to thrive. But through the use of her photography, she is offered a sense of catharsis. Corinne studied photography at Birmingham City University graduating in 2012 and currently resides within the West Midlands (UK). Her work is currently on exhibit at the Beaney Museum, in Prescriptions, an exhibition of artists books on illness, healing and wellbeing.

One thing that stands out as hugely important to you is process. You often work with film and hand colouring. How did this come to be an integral method in your practice?

I have always preferred the look and feel of traditional photography, so this influence is what really started my use of film. The tactile and sensory nature of traditional photographic methods enables me an intimate and hands on connection with my work. The hand colouring was influenced by my interest in Victorian photography, as it was at the height of its popularity during the period. I enjoy hand colouring as it enables me to add further layers of both emotion and pain upon the surface of the print, until the image is born.

Your projects focus on using art to embody emotional experiences. How do you usually go about starting a project?

Whilst at University and going through an emotionally difficult time, I felt a compelling need to express my emotional state and began producing my project Misery. Since this my projects have started naturally and upon instinct, each project flowing on from the last. Often the first stage of a project is to begin by distressing/constructing the interior, as to enable it to become a metaphor of my pain. The photographs and concepts usually flow on from that.

How important is catharsis in your work? Do you feel you can move on from an experience once a project reaches an ending?

Catharsis is deeply entwined with my work, with it being the reasoning behind its production. The end of a project is always incredibly therapeutic, and I have been able to move on from some experiences. I feel the continued production of my work is enabling my mental state to transform into that of a more positive nature.

What is the importance of producing work in the same location (your bedroom) and putting yourself within the frame?

My bedroom is the keeper of my trapped and repressed emotions. There is a sense of safety within this interior that enables me to feel safe to explore my emotions in front of the camera. It feels very natural and instinctive to place my body within the frame, as without this physical act I would not experience the same sense of catharsis.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

My work both conceptually and aesthetically is deeply inspired by Charlotte Perkin Gilman’s Victorian novella The Yellow Wallpaper. A gothic novella, that tells the story of a women’s descent into madness after she is confined to a bedroom. Emotionally I feel a connection with the novella and would say it has influenced my work more so than any other photographer.

How do you see your work developing?

At the moment I am continuing work on my ongoing projects Wallflower and Melancholia until I feel these projects naturally come to an end. I then hope to produce work that builds upon the exploration of my childhood, focusing on how I feel my emotional state is entwined with this period of my life.

Laura Hospes

Laura Hospes is a photographer from The Netherlands using self-portraiture to connect with the world around her. In her project UCP-UMCG Hospes documents her stay in a psychiatric hospital, using photography to illustrate her emotional experiences.

What initially drew you to photography?

When I was 15, my cousin took some photographs of our family with a Sony Alpha 230. The pictures that came out where so beautiful! I asked if I could try making some photos, too, and it was a magical thing to do. For my 16th birthday I asked money to buy my first camera, the exact same Sony Alpha 230.

Is the process of photography (in particular self-portraits) therapeutic to you? If so, is there a process behind this?

It is quite a discussion what is ment by therapeutic. If it means that it heals you, then no, it wasn’t. Making self-portraits is not healing me. As a matter of fact, with the diagnose I got, a personality disorder, it is not possible to heal completely. But it did really help me "surviving" the day and especially the night. The decision to make new work feels like it is not a decision. It just happens, because I feel a need to make photos. Healthy people talk to each other when they feel bad, but that is a hard thing to do for me. So I pick up my camera, watch the light, background and check my settings. Then I just sit and wait till the conversation with my camera starts. I don’t even know I’m clicking my remote anymore after a couple of photos. It is just such a natural thing to do. When I feel lighter, like the big weight is off my shoulders, I put the photos on my laptop and convert them to black and white. I immediately start selecting, because that is part of the proces. It is also the reason I can’t shoot analogue. I have to see the photos after I shot them, so I can close that day.

What was it like making work whilst within the hospital setting? Were you open about your photography with doctors and other patients?

In the beginning I was all a insecure about making the photos in hospital. The doctors knew obviously that I studied photography and also asked sometimes what kind of photographs I made, but I didn’t share them at first. I also was too depressed to do anything with the photos. I just made them and that was it. After a while I realized that the photos could be pretty good, so I carefully shared the first picture on Facebook. People liked it indeed, so I started to share more photos. It helped me to share it. I felt I could do something I was good at and I could share my situation where I felt so alone.

What has it been like to share such personal images with the world?

It is very scary to share such a personal story with the whole world, but I keep telling myself that I don’t have to feel ashamed for this period in my life. There are so many people who go through such times. Sometimes, somebody tells me that a photo is exactly saying what he or she feels. It means so much for me to hear that. It means that I am not alone, but also that I can show that they are not alone. I can do something for the people around me. And that at the time I asked myself if I was useful to the world. It gave me answers I needed at that moment.

How does it feel to look back at these images, taken in a dark time of your life, and see the positive recognition that they have gained?

I have seen my pictures so often, I don’t see them like “that photo of that hard time anymore”. But sometimes it’s like they talk back. For example, I’m making a book of the whole period. It’s called UCP and will come out September 23, 2016. While making prints for the limited editions it somehow got me so hard. The picture was staring at me and suddenly I felt all the hard feelings again, but also the relieve that the hardest part is over. I cried. And I hope that it will have that same effect on others.

What do you hope your viewers will take away from you images?

As I said before, I hope they recognize themselves in it. That they can see they are not alone. And for the people who haven’t suffered from something like this, I hope they see how bad it is. How hard life is for people with depression, caused by whatsoever. That the people suffering are not crazy, but are working só hard to overcome the situation. That everybody can get a depression or other mental disease. It don’t have to be a taboo, just ask about it. Many depressed people want to talk about it, but feel uncomfortable because nobody asks them.

What’s next for you?

I am still making photographs almost on a daily basis. But I’m not in hospital anymore. This summer I will start with a treatment that lasts 12 months. I think it will be a hard time, but I hope it will help me in the future. After the treatment I want to work on my first solo exhibition, that would be really cool.
@laurahospes on Instagram.
Laura Hospes Photography on Facebook.

Paloma Tendero

Paloma Tendero is a Spanish photographer now living in London. After completing a BA (Hons) in Fine Arts at University Complutense, Madrid, she went to on to graduate from the MA Photography at the London College of Communication.

Paloma is also taking part in our free artist talk with Celine Marchbank, Antonia Attwood & Rhone Eve Clews on June 16th. Book a free ticket here.

Your work blends photography with sculpture — how did this way of working come about for you? How would you describe your work?

I come from a Fine Arts background, and as an artist, I have worked with many mediums. However, my artwork is not based on any specific technique, but in materials that can provide me with an outcome I wish to express.

My work often begins with photographs of my body, contorted through performance into a sculptural form and combined with sculpture and other mixed media like knitting and embroidery. I look for a representation of the internal genetic flaw. I am interested in the analysis of the internal body, exploring beyond the physical structure of the human being. Through photography and sculpture I look for an interpretation of this co-existence of the healthy and the sick.

In Inside Out the photographs explore the relationship between psychological difficulties and their physical manifestation. Can you explain how this work was conceived?

Inside Out started with the exploration of somatisation; how psychological conflicts are sublimated into organic symptoms that are manifested physically. This idea then evolved with my interest in the influence of genetic disorders that are passed along family lines.

My work explores physical and psychological relationships that spring from this inherited determinism. In the Inside Out series, I look at the influence of genetic disease, passed along family lines, which renders the body vulnerable to an unrequested destiny.

What does the importance of placing yourself in the frame hold in your work?
I experience life through my body, a body that holds my emotions and houses my anatomy, my energy and memories. My body has been compromised by its own genetic history and the genetic flaw I have inherited from my mother.

By using my own body as both model and sculpture and placing objects upon it, I am creating images from performance. I am able to investigate the struggle between biological determinism and self-will.

What are you working on now?
My next project is call Célula. By focusing on genetics and organic processes that are linked to us, my artwork weaves in issues arising out of the emotional struggle between good and bad, body and mind, inside and outside, dualities that are the union between two divided worlds.

I am seeking to explore these ideas through the artistic side of science, looking at microscopic views of blood cells and body scans that are able to look beyond our physical characteristics.