MA Fashion Photography student Kári Sverriss has created a collection of images for Skin Care for All , helping to raise awareness of skin problems and respond to a range of skincare concerns and initiatives. Skin Care for All is an organisation that aims to nurture and encourage the self management of community dermatology.
Paul Bevan, Course Director of MA Fashion Photography, told LCF News about the thinking behind Skin Care for All and how fashion photography is interacting with the campaign:
“The mission was to invigorate the skin care for all agenda by engaging the power and proposition of the image, and in particular the fashion image. Fashion photography is mostly underpinned by conventions in visual aesthetic and beauty. With this, come questions around our identity, and how we look at, judge and treat others by their appearance. This was a great opportunity to give a creative response to the skin care for all initiative”
LCF News caught up with Kari to find out more about his work and inspirations.
LCF News: Tell us about Skin Care for All and how you got involved…
KS: I was approached by Paul Bevan (Course Director for MA Fashion Photography), Phil Sams (Honorary Doctor at LCF) and Terence Ryan (Honorary President of The International Society of Dermatology) and asked to create a series of images, and a booklet with them that would be used as a part of a presentation at the European dermatological summit. The images were to raise awareness of certain issues and matters regarding skincare and skin diseases.I decided to approach people with skin diseases and skin problems and asked them about their experiences and if they had ever met prejudices in their lives and if so in what way and how did they deal with it.
LCF News: Tell us about the images you have created…
KS: We had 8 days of shooting both in studios and on location in different parts of Iceland, I wanted to use the raw, rough and dry environment, and the unique locations in Iceland as I felt that they were a link or a visual connection to the extreme conditions that some people around the world are living in, and also problems that people with skin diseases and skin problems face.
I wanted all of the images to have an element of fashion to them, as I believe that the power of photography and fashion is undeniable and when those two elements come together there are endless possibilities and it can be used as a universal language to send out messages around the world. I wanted the images to portray the prejudices that people with skin diseases and problems face, the emotions, the good and the bad and I also wanted to show in the photos that we are all the same.
LCF News: What inspired you about the project?
KS: What inspired me about the project is that it was very challenging, to mix glamour, fashion and sensitive issues together is a delicate and difficult matter. But it is my passion, to use fashion and photography to raise awareness, to help and to build better lives with the power of fashion and photography is something that I believe strongly in. I think that fashion photography is a universal language understood by most people and as much as we can use it to sell dreams, clothes or ideas, I believe its also crucial to use it to help people and to raise awareness of social issues and human struggles.
LCF News: Your work will shared at the European dermatological summit – what will this mean for the project and what does this mean to you?
KS: For this particular project we went in a direction that has not been done a lot, and SCFA hasn’t done it in this way before (using fashion and photography to raise awareness). It means that hopefully this project will live for a long time, will be spread around the world used for good things and hopefully it will inspire others to do the same. This also means for me that my work will get more exposure, and hopefully help me with future projects and jobs in the near future.
LCF News: Are you happy with the outcome of the project?
KS: I am very happy with the outcome and the look of the images that I created, they came out in the way I wanted them to be, I wanted to go for a look that is more timeless in terms of styling and overall look and could be looked at a few years down the line and still think that they are relevant. I want to use the opportunity to thank the team behind the shoots because without them this wouldn’t have been possible.
The relationship between LCF and The International Society of Dermatology has developed since LCF designed the first booklet and website for the company, commissioning BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism student Nick Smith and a team recruited by him in 2012. Skin Care for All has been made possible by funding from Procter & Gamble who became involved with the project via UAL Visiting Professor and Procter & Gamble senior Research Fellow, Dr Paul Matts.
Phil Sams, Honorary Doctor at LCF said:
I am delighted that Terence Ryan asked us again to help him with his big, important mission to build within medical professions and beyond a strong duty of care for communities where skin issues degrade life-quality. The journey has been great and the end-result inspiring. The project confirms that fashion thinking can and should shine a light in unexpected corners of social issues; this is absolutely about Better Lives!
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