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.

Livonne is an artist and storyteller from Australia who lives with Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by multiple traumatic and life changing events. Art has filled so many of the cracks caused by these traumas and has become her voice after years of not being able to speak her truth. Livonne is a passionate advocate of destigmatizing mental illness and domestic violence. 

Livonne dabbled in creative pursuits, but between family responsibilities and mental health issues, there never seemed to be time. As she approached 50 years old, the yearning to create could no longer be ignored. She began studying photography at diploma level, and voraciously studied everything she could about compositing and digital manipulation of images.

Heavily influenced by the fairy-tales of her childhood, Livonne found a way to tell her story that felt safe. Using theatrical settings and costumes to turn everyday people into the characters of her childhood, her images tell the stories that she struggles to find words for. And just as every good fairy-tale has light and shade or evil and goodness, it has been essential to her that even the darkest of subjects have a glimmer of hope to inspire and empower.

About the Images:

Why? The whole world was upside down. Grief was overwhelming. Pain was all consuming. Confusion had set in and thinking became harder. The questions went around and around with never an answer. 

Torn: After the death of my daughter, it seemed the only way to be free of pain was to leave life behind. But I had two young sons who needed me. I was torn between leaving to be with my daughter and staying to be with my sons. My love for my sons was stronger than my need to escape from the pain. They became the anchor which held me here, albeit reluctantly to start with.  

Blending in: I shifted from one state to another for some peace of mind and although I kept in touch with friends by phone or internet, I started to hide from the world. Pretending I wasn’t home, declining invitations and trying so hard to avoid physically seeing people that I started to blend into my surroundings. It was safe at home. The longer I stayed home, the harder it became to venture out.  

Find more from Livonne at her website

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One response to “Why?”

  1. Mike Ross Avatar
    Mike Ross

    I read something about depression in Ernest Becker’s Denial of Death that stays with me: “The less you do the less you can do.” So I guess the thing is to do things no matter how hard. Take good care Livonne.

    Liked by 2 people

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