Kay Walsh

‘Passions’, Kay Walsh

‘Passions’ provided the opportunity for young and vulnerable parents to become confident in image making and explore their individual responses to the word passion. The idea behind the project was to enable the women to explore their own identity outside the role of being a parent. A persona that can often leave women feeling invisible outside of this role.

This project challenged this view by encouraging the participants to work with their passions. By uncovering and exploring parts of their identity that became more hidden or forgotten since embarking on parenthood, they showed a wider view of themselves. The women spoke about the lack of energy and time they had, since becoming a parent, to think about themselves or their own interests. They were asked to think about what they felt passionate about and how they would express this through image making.

Part of the course was to gain new skills and to try photographing different subjects. They explored portraiture, architecture, still life and reportage before setting out on their own to take pictures. The theme allowed them to focus on certain experiences in their daily lives. Throughout the course, each participant gained confidence and developed a strong body of work to describe their own passions. Some had never taken a photo before, others had a camera but hadn’t taken many photos, and all became much more engaged in the process of image making. One parent said “having to give back my camera is like loosing my right arm”.

‘Passions’ was commissioned by HS Projects and funded by the Insight Community Arts Programme (2002 – 2015).

The project ran from July to December 2014.

‘Stilled Lives’, Kay Walsh

HS Projects commissioned ‘Stilled Lives’, a collaborative project between Kay Walsh and Core Arts. ‘Stilled Lives’ investigated the making of contemporary still life studies focussing on significant elements within daily life. Through this exploration of the unseen or unnoticed elements of individual lives of people dealing with mental illness, the image making became a ‘site’ for the expressions of human existence.

The participants were asked to make a series of images that pictured their environment, home, possessions, obsessions or interests to tell us who they are. This could be an object, a place, a glance or a gesture. The images selected for the exhibition included those by both volunteers and members of the Core Arts community and opened up a dialogue between the viewer and image maker and in doing so questioned some of the common preconceptions that surround mental health issues and the lives of the people that it affects.

‘Stilled Lives’ was funded by the Insight Community Arts Programme (2002 – 2015). The project ran from July to December 2008.