With a love for photography, Judy Binnie, Community Mental Health Worker from Mental Illness Fellowship of WA (MIFWA), knows first-hand how fulfilling photography can be.
And at the end of 2017 she saw an opportunity to combine a number of her passions into a project incorporating members of MIFWA,photography and the town of Midland. And with the support of a grant from the City of Swan, the project came to life.
Throughout 2018, Judy, Dawn Walton, MIFWA’s Business Development Manager, Uli Schoen, MIFWA Well Ways and Carer Services Project Officer and other support workers from MIFWA worked with MIFWA Members who possessed a mutual passion for photography, historic Midland and had a shared experience of living with mental illness, to see what they could capture. The end result was a photographic time capsule of sorts, forever preserving the memories of how many of us experienced and will remember Midland.
Monique Williamson, MIFWA CEO, captures the essence of the project perfectly; “Much like the old buildings scattered throughout Midland that people walk by without paying any attention to, people who experience mental illness often go unseen or ignored. People tend to not see the depth of history and the richness of who people are beyond the label of mental illness.
The Mid Lands Photography Project shines a light on the hidden beauty of the character buildings scattered throughout Midland, on the fabric of this community and culture, as well as the depth, breadth and humanness of the people taking the photos who have a mental illness.”
Katie, one of the amateur photographers involved in the project, took inspiration from participating in the project; “I used to do a bit of photography a while ago, so it was good to get back into it. This project has inspired me to get my camera out and take more photographs.”
Ronan, another of the amateur photographers from MIFWA, took interest in the project from another perspective; “I’m curious about the psychological responses that photos invoke in people and I wanted to explore this. I also enjoyed getting out of the house and doing something productive with my day.”
In late 2018, Midland Gate came on board as a local champion of the project, showcasing 25 images from the project in a display covering 14 metres of shopfront in one of the newly renovated sections of Midland Gate.
The Mid Lands exhibition launched on 21 November during the Midland Gate Stage 2 Opening Celebrations, and will remain on display opposite the new JB HiFi store in the new Southern entry until January 2019.
MIFWA also held a photography exhibition on 1 and 2 December 2018 at The Mechanics Institute in Guildford. Sponsored by the City of Swan and open to the public, the exhibition attracted supporters of the project as well as people from all walks of life with an interest in photography, historic Guildford and mental health awareness. It was a proud moment for MIFWA’s team of support workers and photographers!
“Photography has been my passion since I was 10 years old and I feel very privileged that I can combine both my passions mental health and photography at MIFWA.,” said Uli.
To find out more about our services, the programs we have planned for 2019, and how we can support you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.