A personally curated exhibition from photographer Matthew Strong will be on display at the Anise Gallery and the Maudsley Long Gallery, London until 25 May 2018.
Matthew’s work spans 20 years with over 15,000 archived images and film works.
This exhibition will showcase for the first time a selection of large scale photographs, films and writing. The project comes together in the form of a photography book, helping to promote positive mental health awareness and to fight the stigma of mental illness.
Photography expresses how Matthew is feeling, having been diagnosed with a serious mental health issue in 2002. 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.
“The title – i.d.s.t. – 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? That is up to you to decide.
i.d.s.t. will also exhibit a selection of his Super 8mm films for the first time, shot on location alongside his stills work, and some quotes from his personal writing about life, his deepest of thoughts, and his work.
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.