A Girl Called Melancholy - Cheeky Ingelosi

A Girl Called Melancholy - Cheeky Ingelosi

Cheeky Ingelosi, a.k.a Janelia Mould, is a talented self-taught conceptual photographer and digital artist from South Africa. The images chosen for this post are all a part of a series which looks at her personal experience with mental health issues, in particular, depression. Because this series of work is so directed, I took the unusual step of contacting her beforehand, and I offered her the opportunity to read the post before it was finished in case there was anything she would like to say or add. Thankfully, she only said nice things and mentioned she'd been able to gain more insight.  When I first came across Janelia's work, I felt no hesitation in my desire to explore her images in a more meaningful way. All quotes given here accompanied the original image postings on Facebook.

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Our Last Love Song

Our Last Love Song

How harsh on the emotions is this image? Or is it the addition of the title which helps to nail its impact? I felt like I'd been thumped when I first laid eyes on this picture, although there was probably more than a little projection taking place. It certainly made me think hard, and I couldn't help but wonder if that song gives away any clues to the reason for the break-up or the emotional states of the people involved. I've known many songs which speak of the impending doom a separation can bring, but how many times do we notice the last one associated with a particular person?

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Isolation

Isolation

Kasia Derwinska’s art reminds me of the work of Leszek Bujnowski although it’s not because of her choice in subject matter; it’s her ability to invoke a sense of isolation with her images. Kasia has an awful lot of work to look through, but I didn’t even get off the first page before realising she was able to pull the viewer into a place of quiet which always helps to create the right kind of head-space to engage in contemplation. The difficulty I have is choosing which images to write about because there are so many which strike a chord. So I’ve decided to use an old tarot spread method and go with a past, present, and potential future theme except I get to see what I’m picking beforehand. We’re talking resonance here, and despite having decided to pick three, I, in fact, end up with eight and didn’t stick to my own self-imposed theme at all…

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A Moment of Introspection

A Moment of Introspection

There’s an elegance to this picture, and yet when I relax into the scene, I wonder about the situations this represents. In reality, a person who (metaphorically) sails the sea speaks of living a life which is likely to involve being swallowed by whirlpools or caught out by a lightening strike. Symbolically, she’s not in a bad place ~ she stands on rock, not sand, so her foundations are solid. The waves are coming in close to her feet and as she looks out you can only be drawn to imagine what she sees. Her mind as a boat, is it referring to freedom of mind? Or freedom for her emotions to sail the seas at leisure? There’s a hint of longing in how she faces out towards the open water. Does a part of her yearn for the unpredictability that only the open water can bring? But that’s a sailboat, not a pirate ship nor a submarine; they conjure sunny blue skies with only wisps of white cloud, and plenty of warning if there’s a chance of rain or storm.

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What Really Remains?

What Really Remains?

Tis a grim place to be.

And I’ve sat there once or twice myself

Once, not all that long ago.

I went to re-read the diary entry that I’d written under the influence of this picture when it first appeared in my life; it was appropriately titled “Fucked Off”. Back then I had that feeling of weariness that follows a period of emotional hardship. I was at the point that I could no longer face looking forward at the nothingness that lay ahead for as far as the eye could see. I’d arrived in this place after an extended argument with He-

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