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Photographer earthquake exhibition wins mental health award

26 August 2013

NZ photographer's earthquake exhibition wins international mental health award

Christchurch photographer Guy Frederick was awarded joint winner of the Mental Health Promotion category of the Australasian Mental Health Service Awards for 'The Space Between Words' exhibition, in a special ceremony in Melbourne.

'The Space Between Words' is a photojournalism exhibition, which shares individual's experiences of mental distress and recovery following the Canterbury earthquakes in September 2010 and February 2011.

Becoming a finalist in the TheMHS 2013 Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Service Achievement Awards was a bit of a surprise for Guy. Winning a gold award, he says, was a huge honour.

"I am absolutely elated the project has received this accolade. As soon as the first exhibition of 'The Space Between Words' was shown in October 2012, the project quickly developed its own voice and took on a life of it's own.

"I really wasn't prepared for how strong that voice would be. It is testament to the power of story telling, and of course the courage of individuals who were happy to share their journey. I was the lucky individual who had the privilege of retelling those stories."

"The stories and images in Guy's exhibition have made a huge impact on audiences in New Zealand," says Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation. "The finished images and experiences are a reminder to us all that people are both more fragile and more resilient than we give them credit for.

"Now these stories have been recognized on an international stage, which is a huge tribute and mark of respect for Guy's work."

'The Space Between Words' has exhibited in four venues throughout New Zealand, including Britomart Transport Centre in Auckland and seven months at the National Library of New Zealand in Wellington.

Guy Frederick is an established Christchurch-based photographer and writer (www.guyfrederick.co.nz). The exhibition was funded by a 2011 NZ Mental Health Media Grant, and supported by the Frozen Funds Charitable Trust, the Like Minds, Like Mine programme and the Mental Health Foundation.

ENDS

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