Lucy Purrington

Portrait of Lucy Purrington

My work primarily explores themes of mental health through surreal self portraits. Drawing on personal experience, I attempt to externalise and transform my struggle with mental health into something tangible and relatable. The aim is to raise awareness, start conversations and bring mental health and wellbeing out of the shadows for all of us.

Photography fills the spaces that my dyslexia carves out and allows me to express and connect. It’s also proved to be fantastic for my wellbeing and that is something I’m keen to share with others. Self portraiture has formed a large part of my continued practice over several years but more recently I’ve moved towards sharing my craft through phone photography tutorials, presentation events, workshops and curating community activities - pre-pandemic of course!

In light of the local lockdowns and associated restrictions, in my most recent exhibition, Adlais / Echo, at The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir, which is in partnership fellow Rhondda dweller, Tracey Leonard, I’ve been learning about developing online and virtual strategies to engage with our local communities. It is this malleable and ever-evolving nature of photography that has reignited my enthusiasm over past years.

Photography aside, in true millennial style, I adore gardening and plant collecting.

Website | Instagram


Your Story, Your Words

This project is made from words gifted by strangers.

‘Your Story, Your Words’ is an ongoing project about normalising the conversations around mental health and creating a wider narrative about people’s experiences. It began with an online invitation to get involved in the discussion about mental health that was posted on social media sites.

People can anonymously describe a feeling, share a poem or simply submit just one word by completing a simple online form. The submissions were then visually responded to through creative and surreal photographic-self portraits taken around the South Wales Valleys.

This project moves from the singular voice of the photographer to a chorus of experience and engagement thanks to the generous submissions by the unknown. Their anonymity connects their stories to others, paving the way for others to feel represented, connected and part of a community.