Corinne Perry: Hothouse Birmingham

As promised, we're introducing you to another speaker from the line up at Hothouse Birmingham. Birmingham City University graduate, Corinne Perry, has been featured on the Photograd platform previously; you can find her interview here. We've since kept in touch with Corinne who always has something exciting to tell us about her work. In November, she spoke about her series Wallflower in Birmingham. We hope you enjoy what she has to say about her experience.

Wallflower is currently on exhibit until the 22nd December with UK Young Artists at the University of Derby.

From the series  Wallflower

From the series Wallflower


Series StatementWallflower is an ongoing series of Self-portraiture which was produced in an attempt to rid myself of an ongoing struggle with depression, something I have struggled with since childhood. The self-depictions manifest within the same four walls; my bedroom, the room I believe is the keeper of my trapped and often repressed emotions. A central theme of the work is the merger of my body in relation to these surroundings; often heavily distressed they reveal something of my pain. Within Wallflower this merger suggests an unsettling disturbance between the physical and the psychological boundaries of the interior, alluding to the unsettling suggestion that my body is being physically devoured by its surroundings. The work exhibits influences of a past era with my use of entirely traditional photographic methods. Wallflower was initially produced in 2015 whilst Artist in Residence at Birmingham City Universities’ School of Photography. 


You and Your Work: I am a Self-portrait photographer, creating intimate depictions which I feel are reflections of my natural melancholic temperament. Since graduating from Birmingham City University in 2012, my work has been exhibited at Galleries including TATE Liverpool, Croome Court NT and Oriel Davies Gallery.

My photography is a form of therapy, a personal, emotional and sometimes turbulent struggle with the complexity of personal emotions. I feel my life and art have become entwined and to bury this mental state deep within would allow it to thrive. But through my use of photography as therapy, I am offered a cathartic release. The manifestations of my self-depictions are within the same four walls of my bedroom. This heavily constructed interior transcends into an extension of self, becoming a mental space in which I am able to explore these often deep-rooted emotions in front of the cameras intimate gaze. I have always been interested in photography of a past-era, feeling almost a sense of displacement within this digitally driven age, in which we now live. I am particularly interested in photography of the Victorian period and because of this influence, many of my photographs are intimately hand-coloured. Hand-colouring allows me to add further layers of emotion and pain upon the surface of the gelatin silver print until the image is born, alluding to the tactile and sensory nature of my Self-portraiture. My work is deeply influenced by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Victorian Novella The Yellow Wallpaper which tells the story of a woman’s descent into madness. I feel I can relate something of my emotional state to the woman portrayed within the novella, which is why it’s become such a lasting influence upon my Self-portraiture. 


The Talk: I became involved in the event, because I live within the region and have also previously presented my work with Redeye. Although I have spoken in public about the influence my mental state has upon my Self-portraiture, this was the first talk in which I spoke candidly about my ongoing struggle with depression and mental health. As a person I am quite delicate, and in the past the thought of presenting work, of such a personal nature has at times been daunting. But through experience I am learning to have confidence in my ability. I enjoy the process of preparing for presentations as well as the actual presenting; as I feel there is something incredibly cathartic about undertaking a talk that enables you to really reflect upon your work. Overall the opportunity of presenting Wallflower was a really rewarding and thought provoking experience. I am thankful to Redeye and GRAIN for the opportunity and hope to work with them again in the future. 


Future Plans: As well as experimenting with new concepts, I hope to continue to build upon Wallflower, feeling the opportunity of presenting has enabled reflection upon the series. I am also looking forward to attending mentoring sessions at Oriel Davies Gallery, Wales which are intended to aid both my artistic and professional development.