What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire

– Charles Bukowski

To my surprise, people struggling with mental illness are still being stigmatized. Even though you can easily find information about mental health these days, many people are having a hard time trying to understand what mental illness is really about. Take bipolar disorder for example. What is it really?

Being Bipolar means that you can experience heavy depression with no particular reason. Everything feels hopeless, dark and pointless. You are completely alone with your thoughts. You don’t feel like eating, sleeping, breathing or being. Why should you? You are worthless.

On the contrary you can also experience hypomania or mania. This is a state of mind that actually feels pretty good. Your self-esteem rises to the top, your creativity and ideas are flowing and you can be very productive in this period. Unfortunately some people loose all self control during these episodes and the consequences can be devastating.

This image is called «Runaway» and it portrays the feeling of being lost. The subject has been running for so long that she has lost track of where she is. It is a wall between her and her surroundings and she can’t break through it.

In order to create this «wall» I stitched plastic wrap between two trees. It was a windy day in Oslo and I was really struggling to get the plastic to stay up. A couple of times the plastic tore and I had to start all over again with the stitching. I flipped my dress and ran towards the camera in order to add a bit of dynamics to the image.



I also did a color version of this image, but I think it is more powerful in black and white.





In post production I converted the image to black and white and adjusted the contrast. In order to achieve a painterly effect I added a vignette and texture.

This image is a reminder to myself to stop running and face the damn fire!

1 Comment

  1. Your pictures tell a story, and your story about making this particular picture adds more depth to it. I love your work! It’s very moving, interesting, diverse and has a high overall quality. And I have read your blog here with great interest.


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