Sarah Carpenter’s latest series, Emerging, focuses on the issues surrounding mental health, specifically eating disorders. The project explores how seemingly mundane objects and situations can be obstacles from which we emerge on a daily basis.

“It is only by facing chaos head on, battling your own demons and putting yourself into a position of vulnerability / fragility that you can open up and re-learn about life & relationships, make changes and in turn become a stronger person; the person that you wish to be.”

It is widely appreciated that artists take inspiration from their own life experiences. Having recently accessed group sessions at the eating disorder clinic at the Maudsley Hospital, I felt compelled to produce a new series reflecting upon my journey. This is my first self-portrait series and is special to me as it has allowed me to see my own body objectively as form within a composition in a more self-compassionate light, something that has become increasingly difficult for women living in the mass media culture of todays society. I have always felt very lucky to be able to communicate through my work, and in my experience, the arts can prove to be a great facilitator for opening up lines of communication. I hope that through this on-going project, others who have / have had similar experiences may take comfort in sharing, that it may help the battle to break down stigmas and perhaps even encourage a new audience to The Long Gallery next year. It is tremendous that I am able to debut the work in the very place that inspired the collection. I feel passionately that what SLaM are doing with the space is a real testament to the healing qualities of art and the role it plays within society, it is an extremely professional and positive gallery space.

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