A new exhibition, presented by London-based creative studio Emulsion, aims to shed light on the relationship between mental health, technology, and art, while aiding vital mental health services. Titled SUB-MERGE, the show brings together several artists to consider themes of artifice, nature, identity, and perceptions of reality in response to recent world events.
“2020 has put considerable strains, changes and impacts on our mental state,” says Nick Hadfield, Emulsion’s photo and film editor. “SUB-MERGE is a reaction to one of our generations biggest challenges – our relationship with technology.”
Young people in particular have experienced a notable rise in depression and anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic, and have faced rising unemployment rates, causing many to rely on patchy government support. Worldwide lockdowns, meanwhile, have only amplified the problem, often leaving people alone to idly scroll through social media – AKA a stream of bad news – isolated from family, friends, and other support systems.
Technology isn’t all bad though. As Emulsion notes in a statement, SUB-MERGE celebrates tech’s transformative potential in relation to image-making. “Using photography in its broadest sense, we wanted to encourage innovative and creative uses of new technologies, alongside our ‘natural’ states of being, to promote healthy living and to expand consciousness,” Hadfield adds.
Among the featured artists are Harley Weir, Jordan Hemingway, Olga Fedorova, Jon Emmony, Ed Atkins, Will Grundy, Cédric Kouamé, Luisa Whitton, Mariken Wessels, and more. Each image in the exhibition has been captured through a variety of techniques, the statement explains, “in order to represent the ephemeral realities we each live today”.
Prints will be available to purchase for £100, with 100% of profits going to the mental health charity MIND. View a selection of images from the exhibition in the gallery above.
SUB-MERGE will run online – at submerge.emulsion.online – from December 7 to December 16.