‘Dualities’ gallery a glimpse of two worlds

Cassandra Martinez, Arts and Entertainment editor

Linfield College holds many different types of art galleries to display the art of talented artists over the years including both student and faculty work.

“Dualities” is a series of photographic artwork created by Liz Obert, an Associate Professor of Art and Visual Culture at Linfield.

The series will be on display from Aug. 31 through Oct. 10 in the Linfield Gallery.

“Dualities” is a captivating and personal approach about people who suffer from mental illnesses such as Bipolar I and II as well as depression.

The photos show these people living everyday life from both positive and negative insight.

Depression and Bipolar I and II are a few of the mental disorders that affect individuals across the world.

Many of the people suffering from these disorders are trying to not let it run their everyday life.

Being able to witness and feel these individual’s pain from the photos in the art exhibit is heart wrenching.

The idea to produce artwork that is so intimate and hidden from the world was that the artist herself is a person who suffers from bipolar II as well.

“The idea is that I suffer from bipolar II, as I say in my artist statement. I always have this suffering of having this dual personality of one persona that I show to the world. That I could get up and go to work and get through the day and then I come home and crash. So I wanted to put that into art and I decided to take two photos and put myself into two different states,” Obert said.

 She mentions how the subjects that were captured in each portrait were brave to let themselves be able to express the side of them that’s hidden from the world.
“It’s very vulnerable to have something so private become so public. I’m really proud of all my subjects for being able to come out and admit that they have depression or are bipolar. I think it a really great leap for them. It’s also that a lot of them talked about how cathartic it was in a sense of they grew from the experience. And it kind of help them with their own struggles.”
Obert notes that she and her subjects had to gain each other’s trust in order to complete the project.

“We go out to coffee before I photograph them. Some of them I already knew, but the people I didn’t know were pretty open and brave and volunteered to do it. But we would go to coffee and would sit and talk about it and share our stories before I actually photograph them.”

Even with the struggle of being able to capture the photo due to the environment, there was a positive.

“I got to meet fabulous people. I’m still friends with some of them that I’ve met and I think just sharing this experience with people, like bonding with them over coffee and doing the photographs is just rewarding.”

She even had moments where she connected with her volunteers and feels like she is living through the pain with them.

“I watched some of my subjects go through a state of depression … I got a connection with that, so living kind of vicariously through their emotions.”

Obert hopes that people who view her art will change their viewpoints of these disorders.

“I hope that it breaks the stigma a little bit … that it runs the awareness of depression and bipolar disorders.”

Obert hopes that people would be considerate toward those who suffer from a mental illness and not let the issue go unheard.