Approximately nine percent of Australians experience eating disorders. Despite a mortality rate for people living with anorexia nervosa that is almost six times higher than the general population, only around a quarter of people seek treatment, yet early treatment is critical. The fact is that many people of normal weight live with anorexia nervosa, bulimia, binge eating and other eating disorders but consider themselves OK because they compare themselves to the sensationally thin stereotypes often portrayed in the media.
Eating disorders are a complex medical and psychiatric condition. Many people report hearing voices, feel subject to forces beyond their control or feel displaced from their bodies. Some simply want to disappear. Others live with feelings of emptiness, fear, failure and self-hatred and their eating disorder becomes a means of control. Many never fully recover, living with some level of medical and mental health problems and often going to great lengths to conceal their disorder from others.
This series reflects men, women and children who want to share their experience to raise awareness about this all-too-common issue and to shine a light on the psychological rather than physical manifestations. Said one participant, ‘Don’t comment on my body, just ask me how I feel.’
With an ongoing interest in documentary portraiture, Jennifer Blau previously exhibited in Head On Photo Festival with her series 'Their Space: The Teenage Bedroom' (2012) and 'After Midnight', part of the See More Janes show (2013), and was a finalist in the Portraiture prize in 2013. Author of The 50 Book: Women Celebrate Life (2013), she has a Master of Documentary Photography from Sydney College of the Arts, and is furthering studies in psychology with a Master of Art Therapy at Western Sydney University.
This exhibition is supported by:
Thursday - Friday: 9:30 am-5:00 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am-4:00 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm-4:00 pm