Although 2019 has made great strides in opening up the conversation around mental health, there's still a long way to go before the subject is no longer taboo. All too often, part of the issue with understanding mental health is a psychological block between the symptoms being described, and the sufferer's physical appearance. In short, a broken leg plainly needs medical attention, but your brain? It's less obvious when that's not doing so well.
Addressing this very issue last year was the Zebra One Gallery's 'Identity' exhibition that sought to visually represent body dysmorphia disorder (BDD) which, crucially, is not a physical illness. Hoping to raise awareness of the mental health condition that sees sufferers obsessing over perceived flaws which are often unnoticeable to anyone else, 'Identity' featured work from ten artists, including never-before-seen images of Lady Gaga who experienced BDD firsthand.
From photography duo Metra-Jeanson's portraits which feature exaggerated cut-outs of facial features to 'highlight the difference between edited and real appearance', to Meltem Isik's comically zoomed-in photos of body parts on nude models, the exhibition aimed to show what it really feels like to live with BDD.
'Identity' took place at the Zebra One Gallery in Hampstead, north Manchester in November 2018. This article has been updated for Mental Health Awareness Week 2019.