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!

Happy Face

Photo taken by first-time contributor Susan Spangenberg, a painter, writer, and actor who performs under the stage name Shyla Idris. Susan has spent the last twenty years in and out of psychiatric hospitals. She believes in the power of transcendence through the arts. She is a self-taught outsider artist who has been a member of Fountain House Gallery, H.A.I. (Healing Arts Initiative), and The Living Museum. Her work is autobiographical, commenting on her experience in the mental health system. She is currently writing her memoir, tentatively titled ‘Suicide Girl’, based on her childhood and later stay at the infamous Creedmoor Psychiatric Center. She has previously published two photography books, both of which were photographed on the grounds of a century old New York State Insane Asylum. Susan dedicates her work to her late twin brother, Robbie, and survivors everywhere.

About this photo: “Finding smiling faces in an evening meal. “Happy Face Oil In Frying Pan” 2015 NYC.”

Find more from Susan at her website.


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

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2 comments on “Happy Face

  1. toniandrukaitis
    February 20, 2016

    I make happy faces too!


  2. V S Antony
    February 25, 2016

    Perception and understanding of mental health problems by our society whether in the West or East is in a primitive stage.


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