School of Media & Communication Class of 2019: exploring current social issues
LCF chatted to some of the featured students to learn about their projects and inspirations. They also discussed their time at LCF and shared some really good advice for future students.
In this third round of interviews, we hear from the graduates who focused their projects on exploring current social issues around mental health, wellbeing, culture and religion.
My project combines art and fashion with themes around mental health. Claiming visual arts as a contemporary therapy, I created the website studiostateofmind.com as a manifesto to help and support people with mental health issues. The looks are based on three mood disorders: anxiety, paranoia and depression.
The inspiration came from my own personal struggles with mental health and how creative arts helped me. My university projects always gave me strength and motivation to keep going, distracting me from negative emotions. By letting myself delve into my imagination I felt I was invincible and powerful, giving me confidence to focus on my projects.
The best advice I received during my time at LCF was to always challenge ourselves. Thinking of future students, I would tell them to do their research fight for what they believe — the proof will be on their portfolio.
Heena Arab - BA (Hons) Fashion Styling and Production
Each individual who wears the hijab has a different story — I wanted to translate that into my book ‘Hijab and Its Stories.’ I also created the collection ‘KAHANI’ (stories) to spread positivity and empowerment around the women who wear the hijab.
I took inspiration from the illustration We the People by Shepard Fairey — it really made me think about the way we can empower women who wear the hijab, despite struggles they have dealt with. I was intrigued to see what lies between the women who cover their hair, why they wear the hijab and how the meaning of the hijab changes for each individual.
This course allowed me to be creative beyond styling, and to collaborate with creatives from different specialisms. It gave me the confidence to pursue a passion, expanding my styling techniques and giving me confidence to work with contemporary fashion artwork.
I’ve always used art and my creativity as way to channel my thoughts. I’ve suffered from anxiety and trichotillomania since I was 13, and with my project ‘Anxiety is Trichy’ I wanted to create awareness about this compulsive disorder. It’s classified as a Body-focus Repetitive Behaviour, using skin picking and hair pulling as a coping mechanism in moments of stress and anxiety.
Thanks to the research for this project I’ve learned a lot about trichotillomania, and it has taught me how to be more accepting about my condition and I now see it as a part of myself. Through my creation, I want to make mental health as visible and important as physical health.
The most enjoyable part of my time at LCF? I can’t pick really – I've enjoyed all of it! I loved everything I learned during the first 2 years, but this final year has been amazing because I’ve had control and freedom to focus on my own project. I've gained enough skills to believe in myself more and I feel ready to face new challenges that might come working in the industry.
‘Illusory Land of Great Void’ is a vital allusion to the novel Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin, where the constructed an ideal and poetic world as a contrast to criticise the society under the feudal system during the time of the Qing dynasty. This project is about an on-going and deep self-exploration which connects the Western and Chinese surreal worlds.
My advice to new students is to try to do styling tests and editorial shoot collaborations as much as you can to gain abundant experiences and develop yourself, rather than just complete uni projects. Try to get involved with the industry and build connections — this will ways to lay the foundations for your future career.