An Upper Valley photographer has worked with an independent photobook publisher to create a space for folks struggling with depression to share their photography.
Barnard resident Tara Wray made the announcement on Instagram yesterday: She is partnering with Yoffy Press to launch the Too Tired Project, on the ‘gram at @tootiredproject and described as a “new photo initiative that aims to help those struggling with depression by offering a platform for collective creative expression.”
I’m involved in the launch of a new project and I hope you’ll want to participate. . . It’s called the @tootiredproject and it’s inspired by the outpouring of people who have contacted me since my photobook came out to say they too use photography as a tool for helping cope with depression. Who knew!? . . The goal of the Too Tired Project is to help those struggling with depression by offering a platform for collective creative expression. We want to see your photos and get a dialogue going about mental health and art. . . We’ll post a few favorites on tootiredproject.com, but everyone can have a say on Instagram. Eventually, along with @yoffypress, we aim to put out a photobook of the work. . . Check out the site, and tag your photos #tootiredproject to submit. . . Please help spread the word.
Really cool. She said:
For Instagram, tag your posts with the #tootiredproject hashtag to be considered.
Wray wrote that the goal of the project was “inspired by the outpouring of people” who contacted her since the release of her photobook, Too Tired for Sunshine, which the Valley News wrote about last November:
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.
In an email Thursday evening, Wray said she and Yoffy Press have a rough timeline for the next photobook, possibly publishing in late 2019 or early 2020.
“So far the response has been incredible (and we just launched a few hours ago),” she said.
Take a look!