Divided Self
Project info

Divided Self explores the dualities within a person and emotions and symptoms of mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. These images provide the viewer with insight into the disease, where often ideas, memories, delusions, and nightmares become intertwined into a new or alternate reality. Notions of the alter ego, the doppelganger, and split personality are all addressed within the art works. The use of repetition and reconstruction of imagery illustrates manic and obsessive episodes and communicate the nature of the disease. The photographs contain repetitive imagery to evoke a static, unchanging environment. The characters within the images act out different theatrical scenes and express the emotions of living with a mental disorder.

The photographs also examine and illustrate universal experiences of people dealing with mental illness such as insecurities, feeling lost, isolation, introspection, and fears. The actions of the models within the environments convey a sense of anxiety, depression, and mania to the imagery as a means to communicate the emotions related to mental illnesses.

The images, printed onto Dass Transfer film, are transferred onto Hosho and Unryu papers. Both papers are thin Japanese papers, which are extremely delicate. The fragility of the paper combined with the rough mark making of the transfer process creates a tension within the imagery that relates to the nature of mental illness. The collaged pieces are deconstructed images sewn back together to convey a sense of fragmentation.