For many, coming to terms with mental health issues can be incredibly difficult. But finding a way to express struggle to others is a whole other challenge. Artist and writer Aleksandra Stone, a refugee fleeing Yugoslavia in search of the American Dream, found a way to illustrate her depression and difficulties adjusting through photography. What started out as a therapeutic exercise grew into a body of work about her different mental states.
With dynamic backgrounds, extensive use of props and intricate costume and make, Stone says her self-portraits give a “candid and intimate glimpse into my daily struggles with guilt, anxiety, fear, and melancholy”. Her work is personal, conveying the vulnerability and loneliness she and many others with depression feel, but often find it difficult to express in words.
Her photography serves not only as a tool to educate others on mental illness but also as a beacon of hope for those persevering through.
Cover image courtesy of Aleksandra Stone.