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.

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Please welcome first-time contributor Erika, a 29-year-old artist and mother who has battled with depression and anxiety (both social and generalized) for 15 years. She also spiraled into addiction, particularly opiate addiction, after years of domestic violence. Erika is now free from the abuse and starting a new life with her two children and her art.  She is living at home in North Dakota, but hopes to move back to New Mexico to continue a Master’s Degree program in art therapy and counseling at Southwestern College. Erika currently is immersed in the study of the art process which has truly saved her life.

About this photo: “I have recently spent a lot of time connecting through photography to my home state of North Dakota, with which I have always had a love/hate relationship. Most of my photos have been purely aesthetic, but this one in particular has great meaning to me. When I saw these dried up sad sunflowers, a chord was struck in me. These flowers poignantly describe how I felt when struggling with depression, anxiety, and especially addiction. Most sunflowers strive for the sun, but these, dried up and devoid of life, are turned away even though the sun is there, shining brightly. This is how my addiction felt.  Joyful things, such as my kids, were always there, but I was unable to see them. I was dried up and turned away. Thankfully, the art process has been my equivalent of the sun to a sunflower!”


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

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10 responses to “Sunflower Self”

  1. lightwalker1 Avatar

    A lovely composition and beautiful metaphor. Thank you for posting. Kindest Regards Cheryle

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cheryl-Lynn Avatar

    What a lovely photo…Tournesol (sunflower in French) is my nom de plume for Japanese poetry. I love sunflowers and daisies. Years ago I graduated with my degree at Concordia University in Montreal which at that time had people from all over hte world taking Art Therapy. I took an intensive intro to art therapy and had I had the extra time and $$ I would have certainly gone into that field. Art IS therapeutic…I use writing poetry as a means to avoid vicarious trauma when counselling with youths on a crisis line. Good on you for finding the courage to get out alive and safe from a difficult relationship.Bravo, Erika. Blessings and much love. Cheryl-Lynn


  3. The Laughable Cheese Avatar
    The Laughable Cheese

    it’s a great metaphor with the sunflowers. And the picture is really something too, how they are all in a line like that. I have some in my backyard and they really do look so sad when they dry up like that.


  4. Ayeh Avatar

    Loved you concept. you have uniqu point of view!


  5. desertmoon62 Avatar

    Love your perspective! You are very brave! Congratulations on turning to the sun and blossoming! I wish only the best for you and your children.


  6. Incidental Scribe Avatar

    Such a powerful metaphor. Please keep using art to help you on your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. karen Avatar

    Thanks– and I hope you remember that those dried flower heads have good, edible seeds!


  8. imaginarytree Avatar

    thank you for your contribution of your photograph and your thoughts. how you describe the sunflowers as “dried up and devoid of life” resonates with me.


  9. heidispitzig Avatar

    I love how you’re using your art to heal. Here’s to the journey.


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