By Brittany Tiplady
Prominent Vancouver photographer Jackie Dives is releasing a retrospective photography show, Slow Like a Bruise, Quick Like Hunger, that showcases youth and growth living with anxiety and depression based on 30 rolls of film collected over a decade
“I want people to look at photographs for longer. I think that we look at photos and flip through Instagram so quickly and we see an image for like a fraction of a second,” says Dives.
“Photography has a lot to give. And a lot to offer. I like the idea of having this kind of show; I want people to look at photos, and ponder, and feel something.”
The previously unreleased images delve into an intimate look at Dives’ past, with photographs ranging from a grade nine trip to Japan, teenage selfies, family snaps and youthful roadtrips.
“If you look at each image from a strangers perspective, people wouldn’t necessarily know any particular image deals and showcases [mental health challenges]. But I know, obviously, what was going on for me at the time, and a lot of the photos bring that back for me,” Dives explains.
“There’s a lot of self-portraits and there’s a lot of photos of me taken by friends. I [loved to] hand my camera over to whoever was in the room and seeing me as a young girl, makes me remember how much I was dealing with at the time, and I’m still dealing with some of that to a lesser degree.”
The show is of course aesthetically different than Dives’ shows in the past. While the images were photographed without a professional setting and intention, Slow Like a Bruise, Quick Like Hunger still evokes many of the same themes that are captured in Dives’ work today: nostalgia, familiarity, and raw human emotion.
“The themes of [this show] are very similar [to my other work] and there are lots of photos of my brother; that’s something I still photograph. There are lots of photographs of young women, and women in vulnerable and strength positions. That’s definitely still something I photograph all the time-it’s actually quite eery how closely related the subject matter is,” she laughs.
Rediscovering these images aroused a sense of catharsis for Dives. And while harbouring this collection of film over time was unintentional, the curation of the show has birthed a conversation for mental illness, and mental health awareness.
“I want to put these photos out there with that intention to engage conversation. So if other people want to talk about [their mental health], they can. And just to be like ‘hey, this is a thing that happens and I am just another person as an example.’”
Jackie Dives’ work has appeared in VICE, The Toronto Star, SAD Magazine, Megaphone Magazine, The Tyee, and The Establishment Magazine and more.
Slow Like a Bruise, Quick Like Hunger takes place on Thursday, March 30 from 6:00-10:00 PM at 434 Columbia Street Vancouver, BC. You can find more on the event on Facebook.
Brittany Tiplady is a part-time poet, and a full-time goat cheese enthusiast. She loves the indoors, fast wifi, collecting maps, and a generous glass of red wine.