Social Inclusion, Hope and Recovery Project (SHARP) Lambeth
In 2011 the SHARP Team received a small amount of funding from South London and Maudsley (SLAM) Trust Members Council initiative Make Me Smile to provide arts-related workshops in their mental health service.
As interest in photography had been expressed by some service users I was engaged to hold two Introduction to Photography sessions with people. The sessions consisted of a short history of photography, ideas about composition and participants’ own personal photographic interests and experience. The group examined some potentially-inspiring postcards by photographers and artists, with questions of movement, light, capturing landscape accurately and the ethics and boundaries of public photography all briefly covered over the two sessions.
SHARP’s unique and well-managed garden was the first location for people to put some of their ideas into practice. The individuals worked with single shot 35mm cameras – with one person also using this opportunity to become re-acquainted with his digital camera – and soon found themselves in all sorts of different positions in the garden to try to get the composition they wanted. The second session included discussing composition in more detail before walking to the nearby beautiful Myatt’s Fields Park. Knowledge of the park and its recent restoration by my co-worker with the group added to the bonus of the visit, with the centuries-old mulberry tree and the newly created wilderness area being of particular interest to the photographers.
The resulting work includes a wide variety of images, some original, and some which reference the photographers’ and artists’ postcards we had looked at, a great achievement after only two sessions. We hope you enjoy the photographs, and in addition if you do identify the John Constable, Gerhard Richter or Woolfgang Tillmans (or any other ) references in any of the photographs or have any other comments please do let us know.