'Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog': from the series 'Portrait of a Postmodern Illness'

'Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog': from the series 'Portrait of a Postmodern Illness'

In my photographic exploration of invisible illness, I have worked with M.E. sufferers to create a metaphorical representation of lives lived in the shadows of alienation, social exclusion, controversy and loss of identity.

M.E. (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) is a global illness that is not only physically invisible, but one that is also medically, socially and politically invisible. This plurality of invisibility, coupled with a multi-faceted complexity of symptoms and ambiguity as to its cause, render M.E. a ‘postmodern illness’.

M.E.’s invisibility requires metaphorical visual representations, therefore one strand of my project focuses on portraits of sufferers’ hands – since human hands possess the power to tell stories or reveal hidden messages. Hence, to render the invisible visible and, based on responses to the question: Is there a book, poem, film or work of art that best describes your experience of life with M.E.? the resulting layered images invite the viewer to decipher the answers and serve as an alternative method by which to enter the hidden world of the M.E. sufferer.

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