ON BODY DYSMORPHIA_

TEXT BY SIOBHAN LYONS

PHOTOGRAPHY BY LENA MODIGH

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is

a mental disorder characterised by

the obsessive idea that some aspect

of one’s own appearance is severely

flawed and warrants exceptional

measures to hide or fix it.

BDD and eating disorders were a part

of my life from a very young age, and

throughout my teenage and early adult

years.

BBD and eating disorders can be

misinterpreted as vanity or attention

seeking behaviour or even ‘just

a phase’. In fact they comprise a

complex mental health problem that

often takes on a life of its own

I’m 34 now, and I realise that I’ve put

my body through an awful lot, I’m

actually surprised it still works, to

be honest. Growing up was painful.

My childhood wasn’t pleasant, there

was a lot of trauma and neglect, I got

bullied at school and I had very low

self-esteem. My dad had an affair

when I was 18 and made me keep it

a secret from the rest of our family.

I later became the pawn between my

parents during their messy divorce,

which caused irrevocable damage and

has had a profound effect on my own

relationships.


I grew up in a household where you

weren’t allowed to feel. There was

never space to get upset. You just had

to motor on.

Food for me represents “the mother”

- love, affection, security, survival and

reward. Humans replace their need or

desire for any one of those factors with

food as a way of filling the emptiness

within.

To continue reading …..

ON JONI MITCHELL’S BLUE…

Interview by Kate Monro

Karen Elson

You can hear Joni’s blue longing

throughout this record. Starting out

with All I Want, she’s on a lonely road,

she’s in love but it’s complicated.

She hates her lover and she loves him,

the poignant line “Oh I love you when

I forget about me” cuts like a knife

in its brutal honesty. Little Green

absolutely crucifies me. It’s about

her long lost daughter Kelly who was

put up for adoption when Joni was

a struggling artist back in Canada,

hence the name green, a play on Kelly

Green.

On Carey, the tone becomes lighter.

Joni is singing about another

romance in a far off place. It seems

transitory and fleeting but she sings

about it tenderly, the wind coming

up from Africa, beach tar on her toes

and copious amounts of wine at the

mermaid cafe with her mean old

daddy Carey.

As we move into Blue the album’s

title song, her longing and reflections

on this gilded era of music becomes

apparent. Lots of laughs but the

darkness underneath threatening to

take them all into the deep dark blue,

this song for me represents the duality

in creative life. On the outside it can

all look so beguiling but in the inner

sanctum it can be truly lonesome and

blue.

The summery California tinted

landscape takes a departure on River.

The piano dancing around Jingle Bells

and Joni crooning about a winter

landscape and how she wished she

had a river she could sail away on,

this song we feel her reflecting on

her own personality, her omission of

being selfish and hard to handle, and

how she pushed her lover away by her

behaviour is one we can all relate to.

Joni’s poetic language literally flows

like a river in the entirety of Blue. I’m

taken to far off places, invited in to

view her dancing the night away, to

see glimpses of her profound sorrow,

get carried away with her romances

and feel her joyful spirit radiating

throughout the record.

Yet she never gives too much away.

Just enough so that you can see

glimpses, like peeking through a

keyhole, so we can relate and mourn

for our own sorrows and hers, she

captures the colour blue perfectly...

blue with sorrow, blue with joy, and it

comes to mind that Joni’s blue indeed

is the warmest colour.

To continue reading…..

MARTHA COOPER

Interview by Kate Monro

It doesn’t feel like a stretch to call Martha Cooper an early pioneer of graffiti art.

Born in Baltimore in the 1940’s, given a camera at age 5 by her father, and a student of anthropology, the scene was set for something interesting to happen.

Driving through the Lower East Side in 1970’s New York, searching for ways to use up her film before developing it at the end of each day, a chance meeting with a child called Edwin opened a portal to another world. Edwin showed Martha his notebook full of drawings and asked why she didn’t photograph the graffiti on the streets of New York. She answered the call and today, Martha has produced a body of work that has been exhibited globally. 

To continue reading….