Portfolio > Out of the Darkness

From the 2011 DOC NOW catalogue:

Out of the Darkness is a collection of autobiographical projects exploring the experience of mental illness. Through the production of several projects John had the opportunity to examine and come to terms with the breakdown she suffered at age 15 and her subsequent diagnosis with severe clinical depression. Themes such as lost memory, stigma, catharsis, destruction, and family relationships are investigated from a feminist perspective. The culmination of these projects is a mixed-media gallery installation.

Out of the Darkness makes a strong case for the healing potential of making art. In its open exploration of mental illness, this project allowed John to reclaim a sense of agency and dignity countering the continued social stigma associated with mental illness. The installation also aims to challenge the viewer’s notion of what constitutes a documentary by presenting decidedly avant-garde documentary forms.