A RIDDINGS man has tackled his depression head on with a fascinating photographic look at the nature of humanity.
Tony Fisher, 57, of Iveagh Walk, launched Into the Light last week at the Rethink Mental Illness community service, at The Croft, in Ripley.
The exhibition draws on his 17-year battle with depression caused by the loss of his parents and his wife to motor neurone disease, in quick succession.
It sees the father-of-two, who lost touch with photography during his darkest days, re-connect with his art.
He said: “After losing my parents and my wife, things seemed to spiral out of control. It was very difficult to motivate myself and I lost hope that I could get back to who I was before.
“Over the years friends moved away and I became more and more socially isolated and struggled to form relationships.
“I’d lost interest in the things I used to enjoy and my photography was put to the back of my mind.”
Tony sought help for his depression from a doctor in 1995 and for the past three years has been attending the Slack Lane-based Rethink Mental Illness Community Service. The centre helps adults tackle mental health problems such as depression through a number of creative and artistic outlets.
Tony’s exhibition, which is available to view at Rethink, features a body of his work which aims to show, as he puts, the ‘emotional traffic of living’.
One powerful image was taken outside the Imperial War Museum in London, where psychiatric patients were treated.
“Creating the images in this exhibition has been a therapeutic process and has helped me gain new perspective on my mental health problems,” said Tony, who once ran his own film company in the 1980s.
“It’s been my opportunity to explore this beautiful world again and have hope for the future.
“I hope other people who experience similar enduing mental distress, look for support and explore creative activities to help them on the road to recovery, as recovery really is possible.”
Rethink recovery worker Ian Robinson, said: “We work with 180 people in Derbyshire like Tony, and it’s fantastic to see what can be achieved when people with mental health problems get the support they need to regain a better quality of life. Living with a mental illness can affect all parts of your life and we’re here to make dealing with everyday life that bit easier. It’s great to see someone showcasing their talent and fulfilling their potential, like Tony.”
Anyone wanting to view the exhibition should call ahead first on 01773 513508.