The Mind’s Halls


This photography project underwent a lot of growth throughout the year. But I knew from the start I wanted to explore surrealism, since not only is it interesting visually, it’s also a very good vessel for deeper meanings. I also knew I could handle it, I have a decent bit of photoshop experience since I was introduced to it in year 9 as a part of my digital art class. I feel like that was a turning point in my life, because if I was never in that class I could’ve been doing something completely different this year, finding a different passion entirely. I’m pretty sure my class was the first digital art class in Pāpāmoa College and it was chance that I happened to be put into it, so it makes me think what horrible alternate universes there could be where I ended up a calculus kid instead.

I think a lot of events lead up to my folio board being what it is, and that makes it sound like I’m playing it up as some kind of divine destiny, but I what I mean is that I think this folio is sort of a culmination of my personality, and the events in my life defined my personality, both the bad and the good. My folio board doesn’t actually have much objective or simple connection to those events, like a therapist wouldn’t be able to look at it and be able to figure out the exact details of my struggle with mental health, or what it was like for me living with separated parents, or that a swarm of bees moved into my mother’s house after it was set on fire. But those events definitely affected me as a person, and therefore existentially have meaning in my folio board, because a big part of my theme is about how our experiences shape us.

I decided on this theme pretty quickly, but it took me a few months to figure out a direction to take, and how to depict a theme that subjective and intangible on my folio. I think I was only able to do this theme because of the reflection and introspection I’ve done over the past couple of years (see below). I think I have a pretty strong understanding of who I am as well as the experiences that lead up to me becoming who I am, and that allowed me to show my own perspective on the idea of perspective.

My folio board depicts a mental health journey and how the model (which is me) grows and works through his repressed trauma. It’s not a depiction of my own journey, as I didn’t want to communicate something so directly personal, so some symbols remain ambiguous and undefined, and that’s why. (I’m basically telling a story with a fictional character, it still relates to me, and is a window into how I view mental health.)

Category: Photography

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