02:07AM, Friday 18 May 2012
An artist in Maidenhead is hoping to raise awareness of mental health issues by photographing sufferers of depression and bipolar disorder.
Jo Dagless is appealing for people to be part of her new project, Manifold, which will chart the effects of depression through a series of portraits.
"Depression is a condition that affects a huge amount of people at some point in their lives yet there is still a lot of stigma attached to it," she said.
"I'm aiming to investigate whether by just looking at a person's face you can see mental illness.
"I'm hoping the project will get people to open up and discuss these issues."
The 46-year-old, who lives near Cookham Road, used to work as an actress but was forced to quit due to bouts of stage fright after being diagnosed as bipolar nine years ago.
She also used to run the 1157 Performance Group at Norden Farm until three years ago.
"Mental illness can have huge affects on people's relationships and jobs," she added.
"Bipolar changed my life in a big way but I've been fortunate because I've been surrounded by a lot of really understanding people. But not everyone is as lucky as me."
Her project will include a number of photographic diptychs and triptychs, two or three portraits, of people experiencing different stages of depression including neutral moods, depression and manic depression.
She added the pictures will be taken in the same place and under the same conditions leaving viewers to decide whether the mood types are visible.
The photographs will then be displayed on the project website before Jo hopes to take the exhibition to different venues around the country.
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