Ever since she was young, Rebecca Hutchings, from Norfolk, has loved taking photographs.
She launched her plans to turn her passion into a dream career choice by undertaking an extended photography diploma course at college.
It was during research for her final major project when Rebecca came across face blindness (otherwise known as prosopagnosia) and thought this would make an interesting concept for her photography project.
Prosopagnosia is a condition that can develop following a brain injury. People with the condition have difficulty recognising the difference between faces. They might not even be able to recognise their closest friends and family, or their own face in the mirror.
As face recognition comes so naturally to most people, it can be very difficult for those with normal face processing abilities to understand.
Rebecca hopes her photographs will help people to better understand the condition.
“When I first discovered face blindness I had never heard of it before. I asked friends and family and no one else had heard of it either,” said Rebecca.
I found the condition very interesting and decided to do some more research into what it was and whether it could be applied to my work.
My style of photography focuses on creating images that have either been digitally manipulated in post-production or by using multiple physical techniques to distort the image within the shooting process to create an alternative reality.
I thought my abstract style would make prosopagnosia the perfect concept.
I created a series of images, using distortion to symbolise the difficulty experienced by people with prosopagnosia to recognise faces.
Through my photographs I aim to encourage people to question the meaning behind them and from that, to hopefully learn more about the condition.
I think awareness of prosopagnosia needs to be improved. Unless you have personal experience of the condition it’s not something many people know about. Without my project I would not have known about it.
It’s important to appreciate that you never really know what someone has been through/is going through. If someone doesn’t recognise you, or seems confused, it may not be intentional.
I hope my photographs can help build awareness and get people talking about the condition.
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