Around 50 people gathered to view photos by people with lived experience of eating disorders at the Arnolfini on 27 February. The exhibition, which was organised by the Eating Disorders Health Integration Team, showcased photos on 'what recovery means to me' and 'what makes me smile'.
"Scrabble: Eating disorder recovery is a constant battle. The words speak for themselves." Photo and caption by Carolyn Trippick
A wide range of people came along on the night, including eating disorders service users, their carers, friends and family members, teachers, medical professionals, academics and people from charities.
"Recovery is an acknowledgement that healing takes ‘time’ and accepting that this is OK. There is no quick fix or magic pill, just patience, along with consistent hard work and determination." Photo and caption by Carolyn Trippick
Nearly 90 photos were submitted to the exhibition, including 63 photos exhibited in printed format on the night, and 23 digital photos via Instagram. The photos were mainly submitted by service users, but a carer and a health professional also submitted their photos.
"Recovery is the bravery to set sail on a voyage of self discovery and personal growth. It involves unchartered waters, stormy seas, blind faith, new horizons and hope. Anchor up!!!!!" Photo and caption by Carolyn Trippick
Carolyn Trippick, an eating disorder service user who submitted a number of her own photos to the exhibition, said:
"The photography exhibition provided a unique visual insight into how individuals with experience of eating disorders, carers and professionals viewed recovery, from their own individual perspective.
"As a sufferer of an eating disorder, it was interesting to view the photographs submitted by other individuals with experience of eating disorders, through the theme ‘what recovery means to me’, as it helped me to gain an insight into the wider nature of recovery. In fact, the diversity of images displayed I believe highlights the importance of delivering person-centred care, focusing on recovery unique to the individual.
"The theme ‘what makes me smile’ provided a positive opportunity to illustrate that even in the challenging process of recovery, there are still moments to smile and in these moments, there is the development of ongoing hope'."
"The recovery journey is a combination of climbing, descending and recharging at check points. Small steps, large steps, at times getting lost and making wrong steps, but always learning and trying, with patience and determination to reach the summit." Photo and caption by Carolyn Trippick