The Birth of a Project…

This morning I woke with a thought filling my whole being, my head, my soul, my heart…


This has never happened before and I don’t yet know where it will end but I feel very strongly that I need to find a way to create images and words to describe it. Usually my stories just happen and I often only know after I created all the images why I made them, what story they tell, what feelings they describe.

For the first time the idea, the vision has come before the images and words but I know why.

A few years ago my father was diagnosed bipolar (bipolar 1 to be precise, previously manic-depressive) and our family-life has been a bit of a roller-coaster since then, not to say that it hadn’t been before but that is a different story. While the depessive phases were not too bad – at least he was himself in a way – the manic phases were scary to say the least. He would stop sleeping and eating and focus on the weirdest things that he felt he needed to do or understand. He was unstoppable and unfortunately that usually ended with a psychosis where he completely lost connection to reality. He is currently in a state of psychosis with fewer and fewer moments of clarity and as hard as it is for us to understand a seemingly increasing desire to die.

These transitions between ‘normality’ and phases of depression or mania are the ones I need to explore and I feel that I need to do that for my father as much as for myself.

While the risk of genetic heridity is very high, I don’t think I am bi-polar (at least not bipolar 1) but the fear is there, esp. as I know that I do go through phases of what I call darkness and phases of highly increased creativity and productivity. Luckily I have learned to be very aware of these phases and by accepting them I feel I can ‘control’ them better and most important I can see if things change. But how the transition between them feels is what I want to describe in images and words, also as a kind of reference for myself.

I am curious where this project will take me and I can only hope that I will still be able to show it to my father…

PS: I have just noticed that by writing this blog post the first ideas for how to convey this feeling of transition have come to my mind. I just remembered that I had started to experiment with a certain type of in-camera multi-exposures a while ago but things did not come together so I stopped again. Maybe it was too early, maybe it was meant for this project – the images give you a first idea…


  1. John on June 18, 2018 at 19:59

    Your pictures and how you express your feelings are amazing Isabel.
    I am very much looking forward to seeing this project develop 🙂

    • Isabel on June 18, 2018 at 20:17

      You are so kind…thank you so very much, dear John.
      Yes, it will be an interesting journey for me.

  2. Dave aka No.1 on June 29, 2018 at 10:16

    You have a gift Isabel, who gave you that gift I don’t know, life, the universe, maybe the fairies, but you do have a gift and I do know that you will be able to use that to benefit not just your Dad, but us all.

    Your images, and often your words, always make me feel something, and to be able to do that is both remarkable and rather special.


    • Isabel on June 30, 2018 at 15:38

      Thank you Dave (aka No. 1 aka Peter ;-)) – this really means so much much to me. We all have our own special gift…we just need to open our hearts to it.
      Sending a big HUG and say hello to the fairies 😉

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