This collection by upcoming artist, Baberaid, aims to generate discussion about depression and mental illness in a small mountain town — even if it’s just an internal dialogue. By opening up about their personal experiences, Baberaid hopes to lessen the isolation that comes with clinical mental illness. The vulnerability and honesty felt in the works creates an intimate sense of connection with their folk/contemporary outsider pieces.
Somewhere in the not too distant past, mental health started being used interchangeably with mental illness. They are not the same thing. They are one and not the same. Every single person alive has mental health. It is on a spectrum just like physical health. At times in people’s lives, mental health can range from good to great/ecstatic, so-so, to poor/drained/rundown. This is a relatable sentiment to the majority of the human population. People may have episodes of poor mental health while not experiencing mental illness. Mental illness affects the way people think from a neurological standpoint (e.g. no longer being able to read), how they feel on a physical (chronic unexplained pain) and emotional level, their behavior and their interactions with others. There are wide varying degrees of mental illnesses that impact people in different ways.
The aim of this collection is to generate thought and conversation in order to help with the ongoing stigmatization of depression in a mountain town, even if it is just an internal dialogue. Frequently it feels like there is no space for mental illness in the paradise that is Revelstoke. Boundless recreation opportunities steps from one’s front door, leave little room for depression and anorexia. Onlookers tell you that your attitude is poor or you are being ungrateful. Sometimes it’s hard to think let alone breathe with all of the seemingly healthy and fit bodies everywhere, constant good vibes and people getting rad. Yet mental illness knows no bounds. It doesn’t discriminate based on geographic location or socioeconomic background.
This show has been cathartic to vulnerably share what my life is like to a greater audience in order to lessen the isolation that comes from clinical mental illness. The mobiles are made from some of the trash I collected during an 8 week hospital stay after making an attempt to take my own life in the fall of 2020. The photos are a result of a body acceptance exercise I’ve been engaging in: timelapsing skinny dips in the River. The process has been one of the most powerful antidotes to the anorexic narrative that I have tried in the last 10+ years of therapy.
Depression in metaphors
Constantly writing with almost (near) empty pens.
Stuck in a hole with inversely sloped walls slick with rich clay-like mud. Then slipping further into a ditch within the hole that you had no idea was there.
Weight to one’s body that cannot be found despite searching to find and remove it.
A wet blanket covering most of your face, wrapped around you when you are wearing a soaking wet t-shirt clinging to your skin, wet jeans plastered to your legs and your socks are both wet and muddy.
A sensation that the water is rising and the sand beneath your toes is sinking and washing away.
Trying to get the words out of your brain, the telephone line between brain and mouth has been severed at an unknown point.
The awareness that the vibes you are distributing are a dark navy blue to black colour and feeling shame around them. Trying to raise your vibration but results are fleeting and extremely short lived.
The gnawing sense of being a husk, hollow, used up. Ought to be disposed of.
Tightness in your body that you imagine is similar to 19th century women wearing corsets; Confined, movement is restricted.
You are a bill in the PO Box. No one wants it but they have to deal with it.
Becoming a dark slot canyon with an icy cold glacial river at the bottom with dark pocked caves on the side. The margin for error in the canyon is narrower then the canyon itself.