Arbor is a project Gary Heiss has been working on for over 4 years. The images illustrate a journey through mental illness, from collapse to recovery. Gary invoked the woodland he loves as a cipher for his mind state- the images allowed him to express the fear, anger and confusion he felt during the initial onset of the illness and soon he discovered that he intuitively created links between mind states and images, allowing him to map his journey over the years. Taking this subconscious response to natural forms the artist explored the relationship between what is imagined and what is real - "what we see and what we think we see" allowing the photographs to create a dialogue unique to each viewer.
Photography is my life, or perhaps my significant 'other' self. The quiet part of me that never stops looking. The language of the photograph is my first vocabulary and it grows as I grow. The emotive, intuitive power of images is what interests me the most. It fascinates me how a universal mechanical device can be so open to an artists personal manipulation in (the search for) communicating a sense of meaning through the photograph.
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