Medical Found Images


A selection of x-rays found online on archive websites. Perhaps this aesthetic could be used as a contrast. The act of looking into peoples psyche is an abstract and vague concept, the mind is an intangible quality of humanity. I could contrast the difficulties of mental health with some of the straightforward aspects of physical health, e.g. x-rays and scans. It may be interesting to experiment with the idea of scanning someone’s brain to assess mental health.




Suzan Van Lieshout

This artist works in a variety of mediums but her works exploring medication and mental illnesses are the pieces that interest me most. I think what I most prefer is the bluntness of her approach, she doesn’t shy away from the topic or hide anything about mental illness. She puts your attention directly on the issue in order to bring the negative and avoided topic into your direct gaze. Medication is a difficult topic due to the complexity and scrutiny of the act, she has communicated this through her aesthetics and process.

I would prefer these pieces more if there was a more personal or intimate connection to a person or people in order to produce a more empathetic reaction. Through an initial viewing, there is an animosity and anonymity that provides a buffer for the emotional reaction.


The Secret Illness

This website is a blog and centre for people with OCD to share their experiences of the disorder in text, audio and video formats. The stories are shared without fear of scrutiny or judgement but to unload a burden or help others suffering through similar ordeals. artist 10.3

I find the majority of the experiences shared in text are emotional and moving. They help others understand the disorder a bit more and the difficulties people with OCD can face every day. This may not have been the primary use of this platform but it definitely can help people learn to be more empathetic.


Madeline Walker

This artist uses their experiences with OCD alongside their art to produce thought-provoking and aesthetically interesting sculptures. She uses her obsessive and repetitive thoughts to influence and improve her work, this process also helps her to suppress and alleviate her doubts and intrusive thoughts. artist 11

I really enjoy the aesthetic of porcelain, the clean whiteness and texture, the material is effective in communicating diverse ideas. Stark materials can be used to show process and technique as well as focusing on basic concepts.



Some animations found on youtube that detail information on various disorders and experiences.

What makes the following animation really special for me was the inclusion of the voice telling the story. The emotion in the voice alongside the soft and stunning visuals creates a powerful video that holds attention and affects the audience.


Dee Elegia

The work produced by Elegia aims to elicit and bring hidden emotions to the surface. Her work explores her previous mental health issues and negative emotions that she communicates with each image. I really enjoy the aesthetics she produces. Photography is a very personal and intimate medium to work with and she uses it effectively.
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She also enjoys working with distorted and old films, she explains this is because she enjoys the way the flaws on the film transfer onto the images. She goes on to say that she thinks of these as representations of her own flaws.

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Mental Health Zines

I’ve managed to find a varied selection of small zines that explore the topic of mental health. Most of these zines aim to help people suffering from mental illness by giving advice and empathy.

Some of these zines work in with text only whilst others work with imagery and text to create work that is more poetic and considered. These zines are more focused on producing pleasing aesthetics than in being too formal and intense with a lot of words.

The following two zines are produced in more professional ways, one as a whimsically illustrated book and the other is produced more typically in a magazine style with articles by different artists and people in the mental health field. It seems that these are two different approaches that will relate to different types of people, and so both are effective. Personally, I feel that beautifully illustrated works that relate to mental health are more effective in capturing attention in a wider audience and that it will also produce more emotion and empathy than a more formal aesthetic.


Mike Kear

This work by Mike Kear works with the theme of mental health in a much more direct way. These images are produced by photographing areas of waters used to commit suicide. The intention of these images is much more direct than those I’ve previously researched. The aim is to put people in the shoes of someone contemplating their next decision and forcing attention to the topic of suicide. These images produce empathy and consideration onto the individuals suffering to such an extent that they feel they have no other option.

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I really enjoy the look of the misty distorted images, the shade of blue within the images are deep and focused and it helps to communicate the mood and meaning of the images. There seems to be a lacking of hope and vividness in the murky blues which conveys the hopelessness of the people in these situations.

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