Open Eye Gallery: In Conversation: Mindful Photo Project
Venue: Open Eye Gallery
Times: 15:00 - 16:00
In Conversation: Mindful Photo Project
Join Joseph Lee and Sarah Hartley for an in conversation reflecting on the Mindful Photo Project at HMP Thorncross and gain a deeper insight
Join Joseph Lee and Sarah Hartley for an in conversation reflecting on the Mindful Photo Project at HMP Thorncross and gain a deeper insight into the work made by the learners. This event is open to everyone, with time for Q&A at the end of the session.
About the Mindful Photo Project @ HMP Thorncross:
Socially engaged photographer, Joe Lee created the Mindful Photo Project through a desire to forge connections. He creates workshops that give people the chance to connect to themselves, to others in the group, their surroundings and their creativity.
This is done by combining photography with mindfulness principles, allowing the participants to question how they view and connect with everyday things and moments. We miss so much vividness in the world by going through our day on autopilot. These creative practices support participants’ mental wellness by taking them out of their heads and into the present moment, reigniting a childlike wonder.
We worked with Joe at HMP Thorn Cross to try and understand what the world looks like through a mindful photo lens and what stories we can reveal.
This was a unique opportunity to explore the potential of this practice with a group of men who are particularly disconnected. As HMP Thorn Cross is a category D prison, most of the men are at a transitionary moment in their lives, with release on the horizon.
The work on display here was chosen by the men and is a glimpse of what the world looks like from their perspective, showing how they began to connect through mindful photography.
One of the men taking part gave this comment:
“All of these photos are a pure expression of what we saw and what we found interesting at that moment. The time and consideration each participant took to select the subject, frame it and focus the shot are all elements of expression and capture a thought and a moment forever. They express who we are and how we see the world we live in”
Joseph Lee is a graduate of the Socially Engaged Photography MA at University of Salford. His practice explores the potential of mindfulness and photography to forge meaningful connections. Connections to each other, ourselves and our environment. His interest is in the value of noticing the vividness of the world around us – the extraordinary in the everyday, which is so often missed. His collaborative workshops create a springboard from which to pay closer attention to our day to day experience, to take photos of what we see and then to share the stories that come to light.
Sarah Hartley is a creative producer, whose personal practice spans a range of media, including visual arts, textiles and graphics. She works at the intersection of art, education and the criminal justice system and firmly believes in the role creativity has to play in enabling positive change and shaping a rehabilitative culture.
For the last 15 years Sarah has worked for Novus, who deliver education, training and employment opportunities for adults and young people in custody and the community, and is currently Lead for Creative Art, Enrichment and Families. She formulates creative enrichment opportunities to span across all curriculum areas, bringing a new dynamic to the classroom through projects that empower learners to shape their experiences and develop their skills. Sarah’s current interest is working to demonstrate the impact that creative practice has on reducing reoffending and to sustain the methodology.
Image Credit: Anonymous project participant – HMP Thorn Cross