While people’s physical health has been hard to ignore, the impact of the global pandemic on mental wellbeing is definitely being felt, but often goes unseen and undocumented. One artist’s project has evolved under lockdown, giving a means of expressing how mental health may affect us long after the stay-at-home orders have been lifted.
Suzie Larke is a visual artist based in South Wales, U.K., whose work often illustrates mental health experiences through imagery. In this touching short video, she discusses how an ongoing project has shifted as a result of the confinement guidelines. Typically she collaborates with individuals, inviting them to participate in finding a visual language for expressing their struggles with mental wellbeing, and uses magical realism to increase awareness of around this otherwise invisible aspect of our lives.
Larke studied photography in the early 2000s, shooting entirely on film, but began digitally manipulating her images about six years ago, learning techniques through online tutorials
The edits rely on shooting on a tripod and for Larke, the resulting photographs aren’t that far divorced from reality. "I use constructed imagery, digitally stitching photographs together in such a way that they present as a single, untampered image," she explains. "I’m interested in making images that challenge our notion of reality, exploring the interplay between the possible and impossible — constructing a concept rather than capturing a real moment in time."
Unseen was commissioned by Unlimited and is funded by Arts Council Wales. You can see more of Larke's work on her website and you can follow the progress of her project by finding her on Instagram.
All images courtesy of Suzie Larke.
Really well done. As someone who simply photograph children in daycare and garden-variety portraits I always had deep appreciation for people with such amazing vision and talent. Great work.