Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Do Not Remove Pins From Body [Butterfly Variation]

Photo taken by first-time contributor John Luke Chapman a 46-year-old photographic artist who lives by the sea in Brighton, UK. He suffers from clinical depression which, despite going undiagnosed for many many years, has been a life-long condition. About a decade ago, severe agoraphobia appeared as a new and unwelcome twist which forced him into an almost total re-invention. A cocktail of pills and therapies have begun to enable him to emerge from his solitary fugue. But it is only a beginning.

About this photo: “the photograph took over three years to prepare in order for the distressed shirt & suit to accumulate just enough dust. it is not algebraically symbolic but rather an attempt to tap in to a variety of emotional states; melancholic & tactile, but never sentimental, the dust-suit is both the shroud and the chrysalis of depression. of the darkling eye. the butterfly exaggerates these extremes; the expected is undercut by the unknown. many see beauty, transformation and hope in the form of these delicate wings but I am extremely phobic of butterflies and moths.”

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6 comments on “Do Not Remove Pins From Body [Butterfly Variation]

  1. petchary
    May 7, 2013

    This is a sad and somewhat distressing photo. I found half of a butterfly wing in my yard the other day – our many birds are always busy catching them. It looked so forlorn, yet still beautiful…

    Like

  2. Syncopated Eyeball
    May 7, 2013

    So good to see your appearance here, John.
    Wonderful image, I like that you had the patience to.wait until the amount of dust suited your purpose. The butterfly adds a poignant note and an excellent detail to the image overall.
    Your words are wonderful too, s good to learn about you and the symbolism of your piece, especially in such eloquent terms.
    Bravo!

    Like

    • darkling eye
      May 17, 2013

      thanks Ashley, although not sure if letting something get dusty is quite patience. I wasn’t keeping watch the entire time!

      Like

  3. John
    May 8, 2013

    Amazing piece of work! I can’t imagine having the patience to spend that much time on something… but, I’m certainly glad you had the patience… as someone who has suffered chronic depression most of my life, I can very much understand, and relate to the way you describe your photo… your artistic self speaks very clearly.

    Like

  4. darkling eye
    May 17, 2013

    thanks John, i appreciate your words …

    Like

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