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THE CLASS OF 2020: Cassandra Merlihan

Cassandra Merlihan

University of Waterloo

Through photography, I construct self-portraits in which I transform myself into various characters. These characters are tools to offer a window into one’s experiences with mental health disorders and perception of self. I create imagery that both people who have first-hand experience with mental health issues, and those who do not, can comprehend. My process involves selecting a character that I believe will best represent the issue I am planning to portray and then I develop a clear idea of what I would like the image to look like compositionally before I begin my photo shoots. Outfits, makeup and props are sourced in order to bring that role to life. While in front of the camera I play with different facial expressions and positioning of the body to achieve the image as closely as possible to what I had envisioned.

001 & 002 are a series called "Take Me", 2019 003 is called Monachopsis, 2020

What is THE CLASS OF 2020? Click here!


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