NEWS

PRESS RELEASE

Best Days Of Your Life – Self harm and mental health issues facing children as they go back to school

As children and young people go back to school following their summer breaks, London-based photographer Jude Wacks is looking to further raise awareness of the growth in youth self-harm which is impacting schoolchildren across the country.  Wacks, who exhibited her photography project Best Days Of Your Life during the summer aims to expand her photography exhibition which explores a group of 18 to 20 year-olds who have all self-harmed throughout their secondary school careers

(London, UK – August 29, 2018) – Since October 2017, Londoner and mother of four teenage daughters, Jude Wacks has been exploring the theme of youth self-harm in a powerful set of photographs, which helps to expose the issue, the children who try to cover up their actions and what the consequences are for both society and the individuals concerned of ignoring this invisible illness.

“As a parent of a teenage daughter, who has grappled with mental health issues for a number of years, I have experienced first-hand the pain and trauma that self-harm causes to both the sufferer and their families,” Wacks said. “Throughout my personal experience and exposure to adolescent mental health issues during secondary school years, I began to realise how wide spread self-harm has become, but yet still very much a taboo. Through this project I hope to raise awareness of this and give the silent pain a personal voice.”

Her first two public exhibitions of Best Days Of Your Life during summer 2018, allowed for dialogue of the often taboo topic of self-harm amongst our schoolchildren, to be discussed and explored.

At both London’s Old Truman Brewery in the East End and LCC in Elephant & Castle, those visiting were moved by the pictures and stories of what are ordinary looking children in their late teens who have been self-harming for many years and relating their own experiences to the subject matter.

Following this, Wacks is looking to take the photography project further so that more young people and their stories can be documented and is looking to collaborate with relevant organisations and groups in order to expand Best Days Of Your Life, its reach and impact.

The UK has faced an alarming increase in teenage mental health issues with stress, pressure, bullying and social media identified as factors. Across the country and affecting all socio-economic demographics, gender and ethnicities, children are being hospitalised on a worrying daily basis through self-harm.

Wacks has gathered a diverse group of sixth formers and school leavers who have one thing in common: they have self-harmed throughout their secondary school education and plans to add further sixth formers and school leavers to be photographed and have their stories told.

“At first glance they seem to be an average looking group of late teens,” Wacks said. “But when you start capturing them on film and talking to them, you can see the pain that lingers within. Sometimes it is obvious, often there are subtle nuances in their appearance and outlook that provide an indication as to how they feel”.

“We can never be sure at first glance how far down the path they’ve gone to self-harming,” Wacks added.  “It’s only by talking and listening that we can try to figure out what issues these teens may face”.

Through Best Days Of Your Life, Wacks aims to question the wider mental health balance of exposure and awareness. “I’m trying to examine the intimate choice of hiding or revealing the invisible pain these teenagers have,” Wacks said. “Throughout this project, Wacks also question the observers’ choice of visual clarity when ‘seeing’ our children and their scarred generation.  Whether it is our own children or other people’s, how do we perceive, relate to, confront and address this issue?” Wacks also strives to challenge the taboo and stigma of self-harm to both sufferer and their families.

Best Days Of Your Life is a strong social documentary of a very real and current situation affecting our youth and schools today.

Website: www.judewacks.com
Email:  jude@judewacks.com
Instagram: judewacks
Twitter: judewacks
Tel : 020 7193 5781

About Jude Wacks

A mother of 4 daughters, Wacks has taken her passion for photography as a way of visually communicating and documenting causes and concerns.

In 2017, Wacks went back to college and enrolled in a Graduate Diploma Photography one-year course at LCC to further expand her photography skills and graduated in 2018.

Wacks hopes through Best Days Of Your Life, she will be able to help raise awareness of adolescent mental health and the issues they go through, by providing a platform, for open dialogue and education and prevention.

 


PRESS RELEASE

Best Days Of Your Life

Following last month’s success at LCC Degree Shows 2018, The Truman Brewery in east London as part of Free Range 2018, will be hosting Jude Wacks’ much talked about Best Days Of Your Life photography exhibition which explores a group of 18 to 20 year-olds who have all self-harmed throughout their secondary school careers

(London, UK – June 7, 2018) – In recent years the UK has faced an alarming increase in teenage mental health issues. Across the country and affecting all socio-economic demographics, gender and ethnicities, children are being hospitalised on a worrying daily basis through self-harm.

Stress, pressure, bullying and social media have been identified as factors in this, yet on the surface children appear to be coping and maintaining a brave face. Deep down however, they hide their true feelings, emotional pain and humiliation, with worrying consequences as they seek a “way out” of their situation.

Since October 2017, Londoner, Jude Wacks – herself a mother of teenage daughters – has been exploring the theme of youth self harm in a powerful set of photos which helps to expose the issue, the children who try to cover up their actions and what are the consequences of ignoring this invisible illness.

For Best Days Of Your Life, Wacks has gathered a diverse group of sixth formers and school leavers who have one thing in common: they have self-harmed themselves throughout their secondary school education.

The reasons, like these individuals are diverse – a cry for help, a release from inner pain or to get attention through fear of not being loved or wanted.

“At first glance they seem to be an average looking group of late teens,” Wacks said. “But when you start capturing them on film and talking to them, you can see the pain that lingers inside of them. Sometimes it is obvious, often there are subtle nuances in their appearance and outlook that provide an indication as to how they feel”.

“We can never be sure at first glance how far down the path they’ve gone to self-harming,” Wacks added.  “It’s only by talking and listening that we can try to figure out what issues these teens may face”.

Through Best Days Of Your Life, Wacks aims to question the wider mental health balance of exposure and awareness. “I’m trying to examine the intimate choice of covering-up or revealing the invisible pain these teenagers have,” Wacks said. “Through this project I am questioning the observers’ choice of awareness level and how they can interpret what is shown before them. Whether it is our own children or other people’s, how do we relate to, confront and address the issue?”

Best Days Of Your Life is on at The Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London, E1 6QR from 21st June 2018 – 25th June 2018.

Private View: Thursday 21st June, 6pm – 10pm.
Public View: Friday 22nd June – Sunday 24th June, 10am – 7pm.
Public View: Monday 25th June 10am – 4pm.
Free and open to all

Website: www.judewacks.com
Email:  exhibition@judewacks.com
Instagram: judewacks
Tel : 020 7193 5781

About Jude Wacks

As a parent of a teenage daughter, who has grappled with mental health issues for a number of years, I have experienced first-hand the pain and trauma that self-harm causes to both the sufferer and their families. Throughout my personal experience and exposure to adolescent mental health issues, I began to realise how wide spread self-harm has become, but yet still very much a taboo. Through this project I hope to raise awareness and give the silent pain a personal voice.

 


PRESS RELEASE

Best Days Of Your Life

A new photographic exhibition at the London College of Communication from 30th May 2018 – 2nd June 2018 by Jude Wacks explores a group of 18 to 20 year-olds who have all self-harmed throughout their secondary school careers

(London, UK – May 21, 2018) – In recent years the UK has faced an alarming increase in teenage mental health issues. Across the country and affecting all socio-economic demographics, gender and ethnicities, children are being hospitalised on a worrying daily basis through self-harm.

Stress, pressure, bullying and social media have been identified as factors in this, yet on the surface children appear to be coping and maintaining a brave face. Deep down however, they hide their true feelings, emotional pain and humiliation, with worrying consequences as they seek a “way out” of their situation.

Since October 2017, Londoner, Jude Wacks – herself a mother of teenage daughters – has been exploring the theme of youth self harm in a powerful set of photos which helps to expose the issue, the children who try to cover up their actions and what are the consequences of ignoring this invisible illness.

For Best Days Of Your Life, Wacks has gathered a diverse group of sixth formers and school leavers who have one thing in common: they have self-harmed themselves throughout their secondary school education.

The reasons, like these individuals are diverse – a cry for help, a release from inner pain or to get attention through fear of not being loved or wanted.

“At first glance they seem to be an average looking group of late teens,” Wacks said. “But when you start capturing them on film and talking to them, you can see the pain that lingers inside of them. Sometimes it is obvious, often there are subtle nuances in their appearance and outlook that provide an indication as to how they feel”.

“We can never be sure at first glance how far down the path they’ve gone to self-harming,” Wacks added.  “It’s only by talking and listening that we can try to figure out what issues these teens may face”.

Through Best Days Of Your Life, Wacks aims to question the wider mental health balance of exposure and awareness. “I’m trying to examine the intimate choice of covering-up or revealing the invisible pain these teenagers have,” Wacks said. “Through this project I am questioning the observers’ choice of awareness level and how they can interpret what is shown before them. Whether it is our own children or other people’s, how do we relate to, confront and address the issue?”

Best Days Of Your Life is on at the London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6SB from 30th May 2018 – 2nd June 2018 and is part of LCC Degree Shows 2018.

Private View: Wednesday 30 May, 6-9pm,
Public View: Thursday 31 May – Friday 1 June, 11am-7pm,
Public View: Saturday 2 June 11am-6pm.
Free and open to all

Website: www.judewacks.com
Email:  exhibition@judewacks.com
Instagram: judewacks
Tel : 020 7193 5781

About Jude Wacks

As a parent of a teenage daughter, who has grappled with mental health issues for a number of years, I have experienced first-hand the pain and trauma that self-harm causes to both the sufferer and their families. Throughout my personal experience and exposure to adolescent mental health issues, I began to realise how wide spread self-harm has become, but yet still very much a taboo. Through this project I hope to raise awareness and give the silent pain a personal voice.