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Mania Through My Eyes

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Art is such a powerful tool for communication. I am a photographer and an artist. I have always told myself my journey with photography is to give myself courage to face the things I am afraid of. Sometimes, I have abstract visions, my ears catch strange whispers and I have phrases that catch my fancy floating about in my mind. All of these associate with different emotions I cannot seem to put a finger on. Yet, I can see them and feel them perfectly clear.

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One day, I decided I was at a phase in my photography where I was ready to try to decode these thoughts and represent them in an image. If I could photograph my thoughts and people could see how beautiful and exciting it was, then maybe they would understand me better. I tend not to speak about a lot of things usually because I don’t know how to explain myself. Photography came at a phase in my life when I taught myself to communicate using visuals rather than words.

I wanted to represent my life and my journey with bipolar disorder the way I see it. It has its ugly sides, but I have to give it credit for making me see things differently. As an artist, I have the power to harness these visions.

Usually around the time when mania pokes its head in my life, I’m unsure about myself. Sure, it makes things beautiful, but the tiredness that sets in afterward is something I do not particularly like. I’m hesitant to give in to the allure. Yet, there it is, waiting for me to go on a magical journey. That is exactly what I wanted to show with this small photographic series, featuring glitter covered orchid buds. People often ask me if I see things differently. Yes, I do! This is a small glimpse into how beautiful ordinary things look when I’m manic.

Mania: Dancing Flames

“I was walking down a street one evening, buzzing with energy. You could literally see sparks fly. I heard strange whispers in my ear. It was my own voice. I sounded different. It sounded like me, but a different version of me. I was the boring girl who woke up every day to go to work, but she wasn’t like that. She woke up every day eager to start an exciting new adventure. That day, she took pity on my boring self. I could see her step out of me and mirror me. It was me, but it was also not me. She stretched her hand out and offered it to me. Should I take it? She was getting impatient, waiting for me to make up my mind. She called after me in her beautiful voice. The hold she had on me was mystifying, how did she do that? As I stood there lost in my own thoughts, she ran around me in circles, singing chirpily wanting me to surrender myself to her. One deep breath for courage, then I put my hand in hers. I squeezed my eyes shut and she soared into the night with me.”

an abstract photograph

an abstract photograph

an abstract photograph

Mania: Kaleidoscopic Vision

“I saw things I never saw before. I saw things I never thought I could see before. I saw everything. It was a new way of looking at things. Why didn’t I ever see the world like this before?”

an abstract photograph

an abstract photograph

Images via Anyā Photography.

Originally published: September 27, 2016
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