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The Contemporary Portrait

September - December 2018

This video piece is about my experience with depression. Often I feel I live a double life when I continue to leave the house and put on a smile when in reality there is a cold darkness I cannot escape from. The film on the left is recorded with a go-pro as I work within my studio, meet with friends, and attend contemporary dance classes. The film on the right is what I am like when no one is around; silent, slow, lack of motivation and loneliness. 

Throughout the film, you will notice drawings of cherry blossoms overlaying the footage. The cherry blossom symbolises the hope of one day blossoming out of this state of mind.  They only bloom during the warmer months representing a time of renewal, similarly to how my depression works. My depression happens in phases. Some months I am fine, some months it feels like a wave I cannot escape from. The representation of the cherry blossom has meant so much to me that I had it tattooed on my leg when I turned twenty-one.

Your attention is on the bright and busy video on the left while unconsciously forgetting the slow and uneventful video on the right, until the last few seconds. This emphasises the invisibility of the illness, even when it is directly in front of you. Many cases like this go untreated which is why it is important for people to recognise these little signs, as it could one day save someone's life.

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