Fine Line includes black and white portraits of numerous individuals who all share the commonality of having been diagnosed with mental illness. Each photograph is also accompanied by audio clips, and together these mediums help to tell these individuals' raw, intimate, and honest stories of their experiences with mental illness, as well as their "accounts of the struggle to maintain that ‘fine line’ between mental health and mental illness."
On Nye's website, you are able browse the portraits and listen to brief clips of the audio stories. It is definitely worth taking a few minutes to view as it is Nye's hope that through this project viewers are able to gain increased awareness of mental health, in addition to learning how to not only better understand and empathize with these individuals, but also see the person behind the diagnostic label.
"FINE LINE is a documentary of voices, stories and portraits that confronts stereotypes and reveals the courage and fragility of those living with mental illnesses.
Photographer Michael Nye spent four years photographing and recording stories. Schizophrenia, depression, obsessive-compulsive, anxiety and bi-polar disorders are among the experiences considered.
In simple and eloquent detail the 55 black-and-white portraits and voices draw you closer into each life by addressing and exploring many topics: family, confusion, pain, abuse, treatment and healing.
Consider Beth. She was one of the most talented writers in her high school – she performed her own original songs on stage. Later, she was unable to leave her home, and literally stayed in one chair in her kitchen for years.
Thelma raised six children on the banks of the San Antonio River and sings Mexican ballads when she’s alone. When she was 10, her mother tried to crash a hired plane in the desert with her on board.
At the age of 20, Kerry built a house that was featured on the cover of an architectural magazine. At the age of 49, he hung himself in his mother’s garage. He was gentle, kind, intelligent and shy.
Doris received a Master’s Degree in sociology. Her passion is collecting recipes. She was homeless for 2 years. As a child she was beaten and sexually abused.
Michael was the editor/part owner of an alternative newspaper. His gift is making people laugh. He had his first breakdown at the computer screen. He started crying for no apparent reason and could not stop.
Deeply personal stories can take us inside complicated issues where empathy and understanding begin. Each face invites you to listen."
For more information on this art exhibit: