Who we are & why we are

Welcome to the gallery site of Broken Light Collective. We are artists of all levels and abilities who are affected by mental illness. We create and we share our work for the therapeutic benefits to us, as well as others who may be struggling and feeling scared and alone. Together we can move from disconnected to collective.

Please welcome first-time contributor Jaeda DeWalt, a conceptual self-portrait artist in her forties from Seattle, Washington. Her battles with mental illness hearken back to her earliest memories, at age 4, when she became obsessed with the number four and performed exhaustive rituals in patterns of four. During her teen years, she began noticing extreme mood swings, manic one moment and depressed the next, and in her late 20’s she finally sought treatment and was diagnosed with Bipolar, OCD, PTSD, Anxiety, and ADHD. Her doctors told her they believed the mental illness was brought on by a severe concussion she sustained at age two, along with the trauma of being sexually abused as a child into her young adult years. Her life was filled with self-destructive coping methods until she went full force into creating, in her mid-twenties. The process of creating and putting herself in front of the camera felt cathartic, liberating and healing. The photographic medium opened up a new world to her and ignited a kind of passion within that she didn’t even know she was capable of experiencing. She has been on an ever-evolving, healing journey, ever since.

About this photo: “The images of my legs and face were photographed in my studio. The curved wall was taken from the interior of an office. The background was photographed while on visit to Ocean Shores, Washington. Then all images were layered and combined in Adobe Photoshop CS.

The downward spiral brings with it
A vast emotional void
Desolate, barren

Faces that will not reveal
Mouths that will not speak
Of this sad and isolated place

The origins are unclear
The duration unknown
Quicksand for the soul”

Find more from Jaeda at Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here. Currently accepting submissions.

*Facebook & Twitter @BrokenLighCo & @DanielleHark. Follow for e-mail notifications

11 responses to “Desolate: A Conceptual Self-Portrait”

  1. Emily Avatar



  2. Karen Avatar

    Thank you Jaeda. This image is very powerful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. SwittersB Avatar

    I like this! Pleasant, beauty, other worldly too

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jaeda DeWalt Avatar

    Thank you for the kind and encouraging comments. And to this visionary online collective, for giving people like me a voice :). Healing through art!


  5. themanofletters Avatar

    Interesting image and thoughtful poem, I wish you well on life’s journey.


  6. Northernbaygirl1981 Avatar

    Love it. Very minimalist but also very evocative.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Rhys Jones Avatar

    An amazing image!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sunflower Avatar

    WOW incredible

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ag Avatar

    Beautifully conceived and executed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. autisticaplanet Avatar

      I could not agree more.


  10. Paula McLane Jennings Avatar

    that photograph is absolutely fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

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