Voices of Hope and Someday Studios launch mental health exhibition

Voices Of Hope and Someday Studios launched an innovative and insightful audio-visual exhibition – Behind the Smile in collaboration with internationally renowned director and photographer Tom Gould.

The striking photo and audio series profiled 11 everyday kiwis who have faced staggering mental health challenges throughout their lives.

Hosted at Allpress Studio in Auckland’s CBD, guests are able to put on a headset and listen to each individual share stories about the challenges they’ve had to navigate, while taking in the striking and contrasted profile imagery that adorns the studio walls.

The exhibition is a call for all kiwis to be more curious, empathetic, and in touch with their humanity – everyone has struggles you can’t see Behind the Smile.

This follows the momentum of a hugely successful campaign in 2022, titled Behind the Jersey, that saw Voices Of Hope and Someday Studios highlight the immense struggles sportspeople across Aotearoa face behind closed doors.

Following an overwhelming public response to Behind the Jersey, it was evident that people from all backgrounds across Aotearoa and beyond often struggle in silence. Voices Of Hope co-founder Genevieve Mora is proud to extend the spotlight to a diverse range of individuals through Behind the Smile, and further strengthen the charity’s presence in New Zealand’s creative industry.

“We are on a mission to inform, empower, and spread hope to those struggling with mental health, by amplifying inspiring voices of lived experience. For this campaign, it was really important to tap into the power of art to share the stories of everyday kiwis, in the hope that audiences would resonate, and see themselves and their vulnerabilities represented in art in a way they never have before.”

On the partnership with Someday Studios, Mora says: “Someday Studios was a natural partner for us following the success of our collaboration on Behind the Jersey. They really understand our community and how to reach them in a thoughtful and captivating way. Our goal was to have audiences leave the space feeling hopeful and inspired, so having a collaborator that understands the depth of that vision was critical.”

Someday Studios Creative Director, Henry Hewat, adds: “It’s not every day you get to work with people who are solely out there to help others and make the world a better place, so the opportunity to work with Gen and the Voices of Hope team on these two consecutive campaigns has been an absolute privilege.

He continues: “It’s been almost two years of blood, sweat and tears from concepting through to the exhibition and we are super proud of the outcome and everyone who has been involved.”

The exhibition is open to the public until 8 March, 2024.

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