This photographic series explores the theme of depersonalisation. Depersonalisation is a mental illness where the individual feels disconnected or detached from their own body and thoughts.
My photographs have been influenced by surrealism, to capture the disconnected emotions and dream-like state of this mental illness. I have chosen the setting of barren, isolated and lonely areas to reveal the detachment and disconnected emotions that someone with depersonalisation lives with. The use of colour, in this case the red hoodie, is used to show a motif of life.

Detachment and the feeling of being a third person, is represented in the first photograph. I did this by the subject holding a sheet of A4 paper so that I could then put a photograph onto it so the end result is a photograph in a photograph. This gives the effect of the subject looking back on themself in an outer body experience. The second photo (Levitation), demonstrates a floating phenomenon as often experienced in this mental illness. The levitation was created by using a chair and a separate photograph of just the background, I then combined them together. The third (Mirror), and fourth (No Body), photographs exhibits the feeling of emptiness and a distorted perception of the body and identity. I got the idea of a mirror from Laura Willams. I then cut out the mirror reflection and replaced it with what was behind my subject. I decided to try this again except without the mirror and just make his torso see-through (No Body) .

Having depersonalisation can make you feel like you are going crazy, as shown in the fifth (Head Blur), photograph. I put my camera on a tripod at night and got my subject to shake their head. My camera settings are set to a ½ slow shutter speed. People that experience this mental illness may often experience mild depression and the feeling of being stuck, as shown in the sixth photograph (Stuck). A sense of loneliness is exemplified and illustrated in the triptych and in the eighth photograph (Hills).

The final two photographs show the subject watching themself. I took advantage of a white wall, to project a larger scale of the subject. I cut out photographs of my subject and glued them onto a card. This made a miniature version of my subject. I used a light to create different shadows and two miniatures to add depth of field to the shot. This demonstrates an out-of-body experience and the feeling of being in a dream.

Category: Photography

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