Snapping Out Of It Photography
My name is Karen Arthur, I am an artist living and working in the far west of Cornwall, UK.
I studied Fine Art (painting, photography and printmaking) in Australia and Falmouth, Cornwall, ending up working mainly in textiles. I have always taken hundreds of photographs wherever I go, and have a camera in my pocket at all times 'just in case'.
In 2010, following the loss of my only child to suicide, I found myself seemingly destroyed, with my own life in the balance as I struggled to find a reason to carry on living. My creativity was ripped out of me, along with all my hope and joy, and I was plunged into a wilderness of grief and despair that seemed to have no path out of it. I wrote some very raw poetry, the only outlet I had for the overwhelming feelings I was experiencing.
In 2015 I resumed daily sea swimming, something that I used to do but for reasons of lack of time stopped doing in the mid 1990s. This suddenly made me feel alive again! With my little waterproof camera I started to reignite my wonder about the world around me, a whole new universe of colours and creatures on, around and under the water gives me so much to look at, and a tremendous incentive to get into a chilly grey sea in the middle of winter! The photographs I take on my walks with my lovely dog Lulu are also reminding me of the joy of living where I do, here on the very western tip of mainland Britain, and that the world is still a beautiful place.
I have been encouraged by friends old and new to share my pictures, this started as a therapeutic endeavour on Facebook and has now spread to prints and cards available online here, facebook, and in the cooperative gallery I am part of in St Just, Makers' Emporium.
I am also going to make a book, charting my journey through recovery using photographs and poetry. I hope that my slow but steady progress along this road without a destination will give some hope to others who may be caught in similar situations of loss and hopelessness.
My mindful noticing and photography is about looking outside of myself in an attempt to rekindle both my creativity and desire to stay alive. It is working, thank goodness.