In the winter of 2002/03 I had three strokes in four months. In the summer of 2005 I used a camera phone for the first time. I have made images throughout my life, but always for someone else, The British Library, Public Image Limited and REM among them.
All cameras are right handed, and even the smallest require two handed dexterity, which I no longer have. So I started using a 1 mega pixel camera phone. Cognitively post-strokes I was very slow, and found new learning difficult to impossible, so I quickly concluded Photoshop was a no-go area. Instead on my laptop I found MSN Photo Editor which used terms and definitions I still vaguely knew from printing and publishing work. More recently I have been using the editing suit within the phone itself.
What I do, what I see, what is here today is based on the following understanding:
When we are involved in something, such as reading these words, it is possible that momentarily thoughts or distractions in the environment cause us to stop, if only for an instant, and then continue with whatever we are doing.
Whilst we are in our moments, our eyes are still operating and recording what’s going on around us. This process is called dissociation.
In trauma, when the autonomous reaction is neither fight nor flight but freeze, the process can become an embedded mosaic of sounds and colours and shapes all out of their natural proportions.
What I attempt to do is show what is not normally taken into account, and that everyday life provides an abundance of opportunities for creating images. I spend most of my time at home, so that every time I go out becomes an opportunity for seeing the possibilities of another image. I call them images because the whole process is digital, and it allows me to freely develop my own understanding without feeling I have to match the vast technology of modern cameras and photography.
As someone who makes visuals, the idea of an exhibition of my own creativity has been motivation enough. Then the idea of how this could be worked into a situation whereby I can contribute something back into my own community, by using my images to support projects, gave me stronger impetus to make this happen.
I am high maintenance now. I speak of being well like other people speak of being unwell. To be able to feel as if I can still make a contribution has kept me going.
kris connolly may 2012