THE OPEN SHUTTERS PROJECT
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?
The Open Shutters Project (OSP) celebrates the achievements of people who have lived with mental health problems but have gone on to high achievements in their chosen field.
Campaigns that seek to remove the stigma of mental illness are great, and we fully support them, but OSP wants to go beyond that, and recognise that many people feel that their mental illness has actually been turned to their advantage, and led them down new career paths, or given them new or deeper insights.
Open Shutters will be staging an exhibition in Gallery Oldham opening on September 15th and running until 10th November, and there will be a special event for World Mental Health Day on October 10th. There will also be a book to accompany the exhibition.
WHAT DOES IT INVOLVE?
OSP is a photographic project, and is based around a black and white portrait, usually shot in our Oldham studio.
In addition to the portrait, our subjects are asked to answer a few questions, in writing or on video, whichever they prefer, about their mental health history and their career. They share as much or as little information as makes them comfortable, so there’s no pressure at all.
And finally, we ask our subjects to bring with them an object of any kind that has significance to them in their mental health journey. For example, so far we’ve had a family photograph, a law book and a lapel badge amongst other things.
HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE?
OSP has its own website http://www.openshutters.org.uk and a Facebook page. There you can see the portraits that have been taken so far, and read or watch people’s personal accounts. We find it moving and inspiring, and we think you will too.
I WANT TO GET INVOLVED
We completely understand that this project isn’t for everyone. All of our subjects have told us that they were nervous about doing it but enjoyed the process and found it cathartic.
If you think you might like to take part, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lisa Marie Gee (07771 553535) or Robert Cragg (07793 867514), for a chat without any commitment.
Thank you for taking an interest in The Open Shutters Project.