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.

Photo taken by contributor Carrie Hilgert, a photographer and portrait artist in her thirties from Northeast Kansas. After venturing into digital photography, she became interested in documenting her life with self portraits. This became particularly helpful when her life started to fall apart due to depression. All her other creative outlets left her, but she could always process her very dark feelings with self portraits. While she is doing much better now, she maintains compassion for those going through these hard things and hopes that her photography can give an honest insight into something that makes most people feel very isolated and alone.

About this photo: “This was part of a series that came out of an idea I had to cover my model, Heather Beaver, head to toe with silver body paint. I wasn’t sure at the time what was happening, as I shoot very subconsciously, but when I was done, a theme emerged from the group of images. It was a story of the phases of life that we go through when we decide to emerge as whole people. It’s about the vulnerability and the dance of hiding, then conquering those inner battles, then hiding again. This image is about learning to free the animal inside.

Find more from Carrie at her blog or flickr.


**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here ▸ Now a 501(c)3 non-profit! Please donate here.

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

3 responses to “Freeing the Animal Inside”

  1. Michelle Avatar

    The first thing that popped out at me was the bar across your mouth. It talks to me of my struggle to be honest with people, to speak honestly and sincerely with people, every day. People expect an automated “I’m good thank you” regardless of the reality. People are not expecting to be empathetic or listen to the truth, which is often uncomfortable for many of them. The result is a heavy responsibility to meet “expectations” and society has so many. Some days I feel overwhelmed with this responsibility and this picture, for me, sums it up. (I haven’t read your description and will do that now, but wanted to give you my unbiased first impression).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. equipmentru Avatar

    Beautiful but horror 🙂


  3. Maya Avatar

    A provocative photo, nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

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