Insula embodies a continuous cycle of recovery where chaos reigns supreme. By documenting the mind and body under duress and their struggle to achieve equilibrium, this personal work highlights the enduring search for light amongst the darkness. It continues to raise questions regarding the discrepancy in how we portray ourselves to the world and how we truly feel under the façade.
The images from Insula span across a decade of shooting (2003-2013). During this period I continually made photographs as a means to document the emotional difficulties of living with a chronic mental health disorder, as well as using photography as a tool for recovery. Whilst receiving medical treatment continues to be beneficial, it is the act of making photographs that addresses my moods and interrogates my sense of identity that has been extremely valuable in making sense of chaos.
Interacting with photography in this diaristic manner not only serves as a means to preserve a moment or an experienced emotion, but also acts as a form of art therapy, by creating a cathartic process in which I can let go and move forward. Insula is not so much a finished project – it is a chapter within an ongoing story of recovery that is continues to this day.
Through a triptych of large-scale images and a book of sensitive and emotional photographs the work provides a glimpse at a life of anguish entwined in hope, often prompting the viewer to reflect on times of their own emotional difficulties.
Insula (68 pages). Selected pages below.
Insula installed at the London College of Communication MA Photography exhibition, 2013.
30x30in c-type prints on aluminium. Hand stitched perfect bound book with slip case.