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JJ Foster

BA (Hons) Photography, Video and Digital Imaging | Class of 2021

JJ is a photographer who has just completed their BA in Photography, Video and Digital Imaging. They are based in the North and their love for producing art has been a large part of their life since childhood. Most of their work focuses on personal subjects and how they affect not only themselves but others around them, as well as having links to wider subjects in society that they care about. Their work is often digital and aims to experiment with the images produced and the final outcomes to tell a story through a lens.

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Fragments of a Whole
Chronic and invisible illnesses have been part of my life since I was young, starting with chronic daily headaches and migraines, and progressing onto functional seizures, faints and blackouts. This project aims to visualise these hidden parts of myself and show the things that are common for me to experience, as well as sharing these experiences with others. I also wanted this project to show others with hidden illnesses that they are not alone in their own experiences.

My chronic illnesses have changed my life in so many ways and more recently have affected not only me, but the people around me. Having to plan and be aware that episodes can occur unpredictably impacts upon almost everything I do, and I appreciate having friends and family around who support me. This work has been influenced not only by my experiences but also by the shared experiences of those around me. 

What did you do?
This project started by looking at hobbies and how people keep themselves occupied during down-time. The work evolved to be a collection of these images, mixed in with contrasting shots of empty streets, social distancing signs and health and safety warnings, all of which became so common to see due to the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns we went into.

This piece of work was made possible with contributions from friends and family who shared the things that they picked up, learned, adapted, or continued to do during the lockdowns of 2020, all of which were compiled into a ‘zine along with the photographs of the outside world during one of the lockdowns.