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 painter from Northeast Kansas who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. 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: “Part of my 365 project. When the pain-body comes calling, I capture it in my camera and transmute it to light. Because I’m a goddamn wizard. I was thinking about how I started taking self portraits in 2011 when I was in one of the darkest depressions of my life. Even worse than when I spent a lot of time in my closet in my 20s. I wanted to die. But I refused to. Looking back I see two things: I was actually releasing a shit ton of old beliefs and energy and that’s why it hurt. And when I documented it, each time was a process to help me release it.

In that way, my art saved my life.

Looking back through those photos are like gold to me now. Today, it came again and instead of waiting until later in the day when I’d look happier, I decided to capture that in my camera. And then I felt better.”

Find more from Carrie at her website.


**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.

2 responses to “Seven”

  1. Martha Hellander Avatar
    Martha Hellander

    Carrie, I’m so glad you can still access your creativity through photography even when depressed, and find healing during the process. Carry on!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Olga Avatar

    The photograph is wonderful because it inspires me to look beyond your pain-body and see the possibilities. Keep up your wizardry. The creative life helped me immensely to overcome my own pain-body. It still pops up and I have to sooth it or tell it to f*** o**. Ha ha! It’s a journey in healing. One positive moment at a time. Wish you well!


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