Maine Photographer Destigmatizes Mental Illness Through Portraits
You're not alone; everyone is working through something.
That's the message that artist Lissy Thomas and The Yellow Tulip Project is trying to get across with her photography exhibit at Speedwell Projects on Forest Avenue, "I Am More: Facing Stigma". The collection kicks off a series honoring May as Mental Health Awareness Month at Speedwell, and will go on as a traveling exhibit to visit libraries and schools, according to Bangor Daily News.
The larger-than-life black and white portraits feature locals who have struggled or are struggling with mental health illnesses, or challenges as Thomas calls them. The featured subjects volunteered to be photographed and submitted a brief autobiographical paragraph sharing several parts of themselves, including the mental health issue they've dealt with.
"I Am More: Facing Stigma" aims to communicate that everyone is dealing with something, which you can't recognize by looking at them. Thomas' goal is that someday we are able to share our mental health issues the same way we talk about our physical ailments.
You can view the exhibit May 11th from 12-6 p.m., and Saturday May, 12 from 12-5 p.m. and visit The Tulip Project's website to follow its exhibit in the coming weeks.