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On Display – Research

In order to have a deeper understanding about the topic area that I had chosen to look at for the exhibition. I decided research more about uniforms the effect they have on us, who are the people that wear the uniforms, effects on mental health that we don’t always consider.

To start off with I knew that I needed to have an idea of the content of the exhibition even though I am not required to make anything to go in the exhibition itself. On this idea of looking at the person behind the uniform I remembered the work of Devin Mitchell whose project called ‘The Veteran Vision Project’ which looked at the veteran’s stories, lives outside the military. This gave me the idea of exhibition being photography based showing imagery like Mitchell to highlight that we don’t always know a person because of their uniform.

I wanted to look about the psychology of what a uniform does to an individual and I stumbled across an interview with Helen Thorpe Author of Girl Solider who book is about the stories of females serving in the armed forces. She states; “I’ll never look at somebody in a uniform and make assumptions about them again, I think that it’s easy to see someone wearing a uniform and imagine and therefore think you know a lot about that person, and you can guess how they vote or what their thoughts are. … But you can’t just assume you know anything about them as an individual.” This made me think more about how majority of people instantly think they know a person because of their clothing or uniform, which is something that I wanted the exhibition to show.

Further research led me to a study by Patrick Quill on the police uniform and its impact on public perception. In his paper Quill talks about how clothing has played a vital part in an individual’s status throughout history and that clothing elicits a subconscious and immediate impression of a person. He states that studies have been conducted to examine the effect a police uniform has on citizens. According to his study a traditional uniform creates a sense of safety and security which further indicates that people only every see the uniform they don’t consider the actual individual.

I also watched a video about Charmaine Smith a police officer who also competed for her country New Zealand, in the 2017 rugby world cup. Interesting at the beginning of the video she mentioned how she thinks people forget that they are people too underneath the uniform which further confirms to me that this is an important issue and is something that would be good in an exhibition.

This research has enabled me to think about the topic more and will help me develop a name for the brand.

KickStarter (2015) The Veteran Vision Project – A Photo Book. Avaliable at: 6 October 2019)

Ouill, P. (2016) The Police Uniform and Its Impact on Public Perception. The bill blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas. [Online]. Available at: 6 October 2019)

Moutinho, A.  (2015) Looking past the uniform. Available at: 6 October 2019)

Auckland City District Police Available at: 6 October 2019)


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