A Valley News Publication

From a Valley News story about the Kickstarter last month:

There’s a nice-sounding folk theory that assumes a relationship between creativity and mental illness — Van Gogh’s ear seems to be the favored paradigm — but the truth is, this claim is unproven from a medical standpoint, and probably dangerous from a social one.

 

It might be more accurate to say that people with mental illness tend to see the world differently than the neurotypical. A person who is depressed, for example, might be more likely to notice the irony in a Rite Aid display of Mother’s Day bouquets that’s conveniently located next to the cleaning supplies, or how a bit of glazed doughnut got pinched off under the lip of its protective glass cover. They might find themselves inexplicably drawn to dogs looking out car windows, especially on damp or overcast days.

 

Tara Wray, the Barnard photographer and former filmmaker who has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of her forthcoming photo book, Too Tired for Sunshine, captures the world through just this lens. Wray has dealt with depression on and off for most of her life, she said, and both she and her book are matter-of-fact about the vicissitudes of living with the condition.

 

“Three hundred and fifty million people worldwide suffer from depression. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” she said during an interview at Jake’s, in Quechee, on a recent Thursday morning that surprised with snow. But she also doesn’t want to give the impression that she’s in a darker place than she really is, though she was experiencing depression when taking most of the photographs that appear in the book.

 

“I’m doing well now — I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed and talk to you if I wasn’t — but that’s not always the case,” she said.

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Tara Wray, of South Royalton, Vt., places photos on her kitchen table on Monday, Nov. 20, 2017, at her home in South Royalton. Wray has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund pre-sales for her hardcover photobook, “Too Tired for Sunshine.” (Valley News – Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.