The series "Dualities", which has been featured on Huffington Post, Slate and Refinery29, documents the experiences of people suffering from bipolar disorder. The exhibition features two images of each subject, one of how they prefer to be seen and one showing what they do when they are depressed. To capture these intimate portraits, the artist worked closely with her subjects, meeting them for coffee and establishing a rapport before discussing how they wanted to be photographed. It was important to her that her subjects were able to decide where they wanted to be photographed and what they would be doing.
The resulting images have resonated extensively with online communities and have been shared widely on personal blogs, bipolar websites and in the news. A feature on "Dualities" was named "One of the 10 Most Popular Stories in 2014" on Slate.com. In her statement about the work, Obert talks about how her own experiences shaped the project: "As a person who suffers from bipolar II disorder, I lead a double life," she explained. "I have one persona that people see every day, and another that I hide from the world. Many others who suffer from bipolar and depression have the same experience. I believe it is important to put a human face to disorders that affect millions of people." Obert was awarded a grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council to frame this work.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Liz Obert is an artist living in Portland. She is an associate professor of art at Linfield College. She received her BFA from College of Santa Fe and her MFA from Washington State University. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Most recent exhibitions include the 3rd International Biennial of Fine Art and Documentary Photography; Municipal Museum of Malaga, Malaga, Spain; and Musings 18th Annual Photo Competition and Exhibition, Photo Center NW, Seattle, Wash.