“When I came here my basic problem was that I couldn’t get beyond myself and I was anxious all the time. There was no tranquility; no peace. I felt like I was barred from access to normal things. It didn’t matter if the sun shone, if people were happy. Any of those things that would normally get me out of myself didn’t count for anything. So a lot of the images I was looking for to put in the collage were things that were barred, all these barriers in some way preventing me getting to what was beyond. These images I collected were representations of that same sort of thing. Partly quite sharp in focus in terms of the barrier, but equally quite cluttered. I also wanted some representation of my physical medical condition, but mainly I wanted the sense of finally being able to move beyond all those barriers. Here is a bridge to tranquility, to calm water, to something I could recognize again – the way things used to be. When I saw this bridge with ‘hope’ painted on it it seemed perfect for this. Its a metaphoric and a real bridge that represents the hope of being able to make that journey from this side to the calmer side. Very simple. I’m getting there. I’ve experienced some of this in the last few weeks, but for so many months I was anxious every waking minute, and even when I was sleeping. It was exhausting. I chose some words to put in there: ‘future’, hoping for the future; ‘collapse’, because I felt I was on the point of collapse when I went to the crisis house. And the other thing that was important for me is something I have never been very good at in the past because I have been so self-reliant. I have never been good at asking for help. I’ve always been someone who can deal with it. I think ‘just get on with it and you’ll be fine’. But I wasn’t, so it was important to be able to ask for help.”
Alexa Wright works with photography, video, sound and interactive digital media. Her practice often exists at the intersection of art and medical science. Alexa’s work has been shown widely, both nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include: 'Slippage, The Unstable Nature of Difference', Chester University Gallery (2015); 'Crafting Anatomies', Bonington Gallery, Nottingham (2015); 'Hybrid Bodies', PHI Centre, Montreal (2014); 'Archisle Photography Open', Jersey Arts Centre, St Helier, Jersey (2013); (honorable mention); 'Portas Abertas', Fórum Eugénio de Almeida, Évora, Portugal (2013); 'Digital Aesthetic 3', Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston (2012); 'Born in 1987: the Animated Gif', Photographer’s Gallery, London (2012). Alexa is Reader in Photography and Visual Culture at the University of Westminster in London, UK. Her single-authored book, ‘Monstrosity the human monster in visual culture’ was published by IB Tauris in June 2013. Funded by the Arts Council, Alexa is currently artist in residence at two Mental Health Recovery Centres in North London, UK. View all posts by Alexa Wright
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