The 2014 Lenscratch Honorable Mention in Student Photography: Melissa Morgan Wagley
Today we congratulate Melissa Morgan Wagley, our final honorable mention for this year’s Student Prize. Melissa is from the Indianapolis area, and is due to graduate with an MFA from the Academy of Art University this fall. The body of work shown today is contrived representations of Melissa’s depression. Her self portraits go in and out of her mind, and fight between grounded verses constructed reality. Melissa’s photographs created and outlet that illustrates this mental battle.
Melissa Morgan Wagley, Fine Art Photographer, creates distinct painterly portraits. She will receive her Master of Fine Arts degree from the Academy of Art University in the fall of 2014 after she presents her thesis, Mental State. She is an exhibiting fine art photographer at multiple galleries. The Indianapolis based photographer also heads a lifestyle photography business, PhotoBee Photography. She began creating self-portraits to explore her emotional past. Her series Mental State is a lyrical, emotional and metaphorical series that explores her journey from depression to a more positive emotional state.
The world has fallen out from underneath you and you feel lost and don’t know where to go or how you have gotten there. Depression is not a place anyone really wants to be but many of us know someone who has visited or is currently there. It is the place deep within our inner workings that sums up our worst feelings, thoughts and doubts. It is easy to become tangled in the world of depression; one cannot choose to go there just as they cannot choose to leave there. Time is our only friend and also our enemy…it takes time to work through depression and there are those that are never able to leave. Only you can work through your depression, those that love you can support you and try to guide you but you have to be the one to work through it. You have to find your inner peace, your determination, so you can move forward. It is a slippery slope and it is so easy to fall back into the hole of depression. Once there it is easy to get lost and forget why you wanted out of the hole. Never give up, never loose hope; one step ahead can get you closer to your own better place.
Lyrical, emotional, and metaphorical are words I would use to describe my work, Mental State. This series explores the mental and emotional world of depression to a current positive state of awareness. Ten years of depression brought about by three post-partum depressions, I am finely at a place that is safer, positive and provides me hope for my future. Working through this series has provided some catharsis for myself but also brings despair at the memories of what happened and what I cannot change. Our stories make us who we are and we must learn from our fears, our failures, our mistakes and relish in our joys, our love and our future. I hope that you may find my journey inspiring and full of hope towards what may be.
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