We're delighted to share Mollie Clothier's 'Perplexity' photography project... Mollie is a fashion and fine art photographer whose work explores psychological matters. She's 22 and currently living in Dorset, having graduated from Falmouth University in July.
Describe what this photo series is about... "Perplexity proposes to tackle the apprehension that surrounds mental health, normalising its impulses to the viewer through the use of recognisable movements and objects. This physicality attempts to represent the intuitive gestures and sensory responses that occur as a result of an anxiety disorder."
How was the idea for this project born? Was it down to personal experience? What do you hope others will gain from seeing these images? "My projects always seem to be focused around psychological themes surrounding mental health, interested by the way we not only perceive ourselves, but how we acknowledge each other. This project in particular has been based on my own experience with anxiety, due to the frustration that I so often felt when seeing very typical black and white moody images that are supposedly representing anxiety and depression. This isn't how I feel when experiencing a particularly bad patch of anxiety, so I was interested in averting this stigma into something that would catch people's attention and raise awareness about mental health at the same time."
The images are so striking, did you pick the vibrant colours on purpose? Are the colour choices significant? "Thank you! Yes, the choice of vibrant colours, with the fashion, props and borders were all chosen based on information gained from art therapists and colour tests, combined with SS17 fashion at the time."
Who is the model? How did you pick them? Did they gain something from the shoot too? "The model in this series was a close friend who has also suffered with anxiety. I made this decision as it meant that when trying to communicate such personal and sensory feelings, my intent could be achieved more accurately. Using somebody who understands these afflictions helped to create an honest and emotive portrayal without having to capture somebody curled up in a ball."
What other projects do you have in the pipeline? "Having focused specifically on anxiety disorder here, I am interested in exploring other areas of mental health through the same fashion context, always interested in finding and listening to other people's stories."
You can view Mollie's work on her website.