Talking Heads volunteer Paul Duncan composed this piece of music and wrote a reflective piece in response to Photography Revolution, a photography exhibition by participants at Dundee mental health charity Wellbeing Works.

Reflecting light and stillness, and the process of creativity and the essential part this can play in all of our wellbeing. Some Revolutions are ongoing, peaceful, and very quiet.

The rescheduled photography exhibition, Photography Revolution by Wellbeing Works in Dundee took place at V&A Dundee last week and I was so lucky to get to visit and see the images in person.

I had already seen some of their beautiful images in thumbnail version, but it was so much better to view them up close.

Derek, who is one of the photographers from the project, gave me a very warm welcome and an excellent guided tour. It was fascinating to hear from him how during their collective planning and setting up they had managed to capture such clear and striking pictures, and how each individual image may have started as one person’s idea but they had then collaborated as a team in the creative process.

Looking back at how we did them – it’s amazing. This one is of the surface of a bowl of milk, and above it is a bag of water with food colouring in it. We made a pinhole in it and used a burst technique with the camera to capture the splash it created. Sometimes you take hundreds of pictures and it doesn’t work out, but then you try again and it just happens.

It was also great to meet Ellie and Natalya who facilitate the group who meet regularly in Dundee. Ellie added:

In these water-drop pictures there is movement in there – but the final image is a single moment in time.

Some of the props they had used were almost unrecognisable at first in these macro photos – you need to look closely to identify subjects. Dominoes, tiny action figures working on a pinecone, text through clear water drops, and many others.

Derek explained that he and the other participants found it such a helpful and enjoyable process to be a part of. It seemed really apparent to me from hearing him talk with such enthusiasm and praise that I’m now thinking of finding a photography group to join myself. I’m a believer that creativity in all of its forms can be such a powerful, satisfying and even comforting part of life.

Thanks to Derek, Ellie, Natalya and all of the other photographers for putting together this amazing exhibition as part of this SMHAF 2023.

Paul Duncan is a classically trained musician who is currently based in Perth and who composes music both as an outlet for his creativity and also for the therapeutic value that it brings into his wellbeing. Short examples of his compositions are on his Soundcloud page.