140 days

...is the average length of a major depressive episode. One in three people will experience this at least once in their lifetime, and everyone will come into contact with a close friend or family member who struggles with a mental health condition. May is Mental Health Awareness month, and the first week in October is also dedicated to mental health awareness. Whether by plan or chance, just over 20 weeks separates these two campaigns.

140 indigo-dyed handkerchiefs combined with a variety of texts will illustrate the stigma of depression, and describe the condition in the words of poets and the statistics of science. Self-reflection, daily practices, and writing all play a role in coping with depression, paralleling my own process of creative production.

indigo vat

Indigo, the natural dye that requires continual tending and balancing, is just the process to go deeply into the state of blue that is so silently pervasive. I have several vats that I tend, allowing them to go dormant when away for extended periods. Revival of a vat means dedicating time and patience to slowly bring the heat, alkalinity, and sugars into to just the right balance. Some days, its just not working, and then I let it be.

 I'll be posting weekly on this project, check in to see the progress!