How Lauren and Abbie are changing perceptions with art

With Degree Shows well underway we catch up with two of our Photography students about their final exhibitions, how they are challenging, perceptions and highlighting their own experiences of mental and physical illness…


Hi, I’m Lauren, a member of the Photography Degree Show team – unwritten. I hope that my exhibition will help change negative perceptions after my own struggles with depression and homelessness.

My photographs, One in Four, highlight the human and personal aspect of the statistic that one in four people in the UK will suffer with some form of mental condition in their lifetime.

I was made homeless at the age of 17, later diagnosed with manic depression and I’ve made it to the end of my three-year Photography BA course thanks to the help of friends, tutors and therapists.

Exhibiting portraits of myself on my darkest days is both the scariest thing I’ve ever done and the most liberating. I want to use my own experiences to start a conversation about the mental health and wellbeing of young people. I hope that my work can give people a window into my daily reality and give them a better picture and understanding of the struggles faced by so many people every day.



Hi I’m Abbie, a fellow member of the unwritten team. I’m showing the impact Parkinson’s has had on my family since my Father, Wayne was diagnosed with the condition at the age of 39.

Through my exhibition, The Parkinson’s Project, I’ve documented five months of my Father’s daily struggles with the incurable condition including symptoms, his medication and the stereotypes he faces.

I’ve set up a Facebook discussion page, The Parkinson’s Project to help people learn more about the illness and encourage discussion on how others have been affected.

I began this project to raise awareness of the illness but since then it’s become clear that there is not enough discussion out there for people to learn about the illness. Many people look at Parkinson’s and think it is just a tremor and that it only affects older people, but these perceptions need to change.

My project highlights many of these issues from stereotypes, side effects of medications, different symptoms of the illness and especially the fact it doesn’t just affect older people – my Dad was just 39 when he was diagnosed and so it came as a shock to all of our family. I can already see the impact this work has had on other people, even those who don’t have the illness have been in touch via the Facebook page saying how shocked and inspired they feel.


Both of our exhibitions, and the rest of the unwritten photography team, will be held in The Box at FarGo Village from the 27th May-4th June (open from midday-7pm). We hope to see you there!