If Destroyed Still True, a personally curated exhibition from photographer Matthew Strong, will be on display at the Maudsley Long Gallery until 27 April 2018.
This exhibition will showcase for the first time a selection of large-scale photographs, films and writing from Matthew’s archive of 15,000 images and film works, collated over 20 years. It comes together in the form of a photography book, helping to promote positive mental health awareness.
Having been diagnosed with a serious mental health issue in 2002, photography expresses how Matthew is feeling. He aims to help fight the stigma of having a mental illness, and to shed a positive light on the subject through the use of photography as a coping mechanism.
Matthew says: ‘The title – If Destroyed Still True – comes from adolescent graffiti, it was kind of like an official stamp of approval which meant if someone destroyed what had been written, it would still be true, a bit like keeping your fingers crossed.’
In the context of Matthew’s work, the statement becomes quite powerful, as in if he is to be eventually destroyed by his illness, can everything he has ever done be true?
The carefully chosen 20 framed prints take the viewer on a journey. The locations switch from London to India and back again, but it isn’t the locations that are so important, it’s how Matthew wants to make you feel; what has he seen that has caught his attention? How does this make the viewer understand his mental state? Are there questions that are unanswered? Is he trying to tell a story? Or quite simply are they just pictures and nothing else? That is up to you to decide.
If Destroyed Still True will also exhibit a selection of Matthew’s Super 8mm films, shot on location alongside his stills work, and quotes from his personal writing about life, his deepest thoughts, and his work.
Visit the exhibition
The exhibition runs to 27 April 2018 and is free to visit. Join us at The Long Gallery, Maudsley Hospital, London SE5 8AZ. We are open from 9am to 7pm daily.
The project was uniquely funded by Matthew’s family and friends. He has raised enough money to put on the exhibition, to get the book and 20 prints printed and framed.