Lou Mensah started her career in PR working with Anita Roddick’s team at The Body Shop Foundation, promoting a succession of campaigns inc. Free Ken Saro-Wiwa, and Against Domestic Violence. Her award winning photography critiques the effects of media images on our culture. With this work she was selected as runner-up by Nick Knight and Alexander McQueen in The Independent Newspaper & American Express Fashion Photography Awards.
I know it's always been like this really, Tracey Emin's bed, Hirst's cow, Richard Billingham's parents, what Lena Dunham's saying, there has always something for rookie critics to moan about and for artists to roar back too - but recently the cycle of negativity between influencer and audience seems relentlessly fervent, in times when we need bringing together
We know how lucky we are to have the NHS and it's services, spanning physical and mental health care. Sometimes though, we leave with our bodies healed, and our spirits a little diminished. If you have spent time visiting a loved one in a mental health unit, a situation that curator Niamh White and artist Tim A Shaw found themselves in, you may come away thinking that the environment of these units could do with some care.
This exhibition is about the everyday lives of you and me, our parent's and grandparents. It is a community album, a gift from 23 international photographers, who have been documenting our mundane and celebratory moments since the 1930s.
Then there are images that draw us in, over and above aesthetics. I wondered how the new generation of photographers, those with a timely political agenda, make a place for themselves at the visual pulpit?
Having worked at the fashion coalface for over 15 years, as a photographer, PR and writer, I now balance on the edge of the bubble, peeping in. I advise retail clients on how to respond to their customers changing needs.
Jenny Lewis' new book One Day Young, features portraits of women in their Hackney homes within 24 hours of giving birth. A few of these images are of acquaintance's, but most were stranger's at that point, all depicting an arresting intimacy and timelessness that would sit perfectly amongst the collections at The National Portrait Gallery.
Using the Internet, people from all ethnicities and backgrounds are becoming more comfortable presenting their image to the world, thus challenging the mainstream notions of the beauty ideal. Together with agencies like Lorde Inc., the fashion landscape is in a state of perfect flux.
It may or may not be true that we become our parents, but I want to be careful of the example I set. These choices are more far-reaching than my own sense of satisfaction. I want my daughter to see me as someone who provides, and someone who is available for her.
01/05/2014 13:12 BST
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