portraits of an anxious lady

Photography is often seen as the art of showing the beauty of what is visible, but sometimes, it can also be used to turn visible what is often lived as something invisible and unnoticed.

Anxiety and a strong artistic impulse to create seem to always have been part of my life. It tool me years to recognise both for what they are and for a long long time, they seemed to be in separate departments of my life. Anxiety would break me down, whilst creating would build me up, give me a purpose, give me a private safe world where I could dictate the rules. In a way, they were both my reaction to an unsafe world, but they remained separated, one being the good, the other one being the evil.

''I'm sorry...''

Until one day, I joined them together. Instead of sitting in the middle of my living room, heart racing, my breathing way too fast and out of control, my body paralysed, my mind numb, I turned to the one thing never seems to let me down: creativity. I felt inadequate, unable to deal with the real world, but I was fed up with that feeling me taking me lower and lower. I had to do something with it, so I took myself and all my strong feelings into my bedroom, and with the help of a tripod, I started making self portraits.

''Not today''

''Weirdly, awkwardly''

''I keep hiding''

Photography seems to be the ultimate creative medium for the sort of work I want to produce. I have a fertile imagination but I lack the true ability to draw and even though I did contemporary dance and improvisation for years, there was always something else I was looking for. And I found it through photography. Photography allows me to join performance, poetry and visual arts all in one. Up until this moment I used photography to express the poetry of what I saw around me, the poetry of people, nature and feelings. Using it to express deeper and more negative feelings, turning those feelings into artistic images, instead of letting them grown inside myself and add to an already destructive cycle, was a breakthrough. This portraits show the feeling me and so many people with anxiety might feel. They express what I avoid saying or pretend it's not there. They give voice to words that were never formed.

''I dissolve into nothing''

''This is not me''

Just me and my ghosts

''I need air''

''This is the me you can see''

''I keep hiding''

''Make it stop''

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Mara Cabral                              |          windandsunphotography@gmail.com          |       Llanelli / Swansea