This months featured set is entitled “Deconstruction of Darkness” by Michael Hayes, for which he received his Fellowship of the IPPA.

Michael, in submitting this set also submitted a narrative to accompany the set, which together makes the images even more resonant and powerful, as follows:

“I am using the word Darkness to represent conditions of Anxiety and Depression.

This panel of images hopefully will illustrate, the issues and emotions people experience while living with Anxiety and Depression in modern Irish Society with roots in a repressive past.

I have chosen the Female Form, as my pen, throughout the entire panel. The reason for this that in shooting the Female Form over the years, it has certainly helped me overcome a desperate shyness I have always had in this area. Also the panel is about being vulnerable and how more vulnerable can a naked female human being get.


Causes of Depression,

  1. Biological causes
  2. Non Biological causes


Biological Causes

  • Biological Differences in brain structure.
  • Imbalances in the brain’s biochemical environment especially Neurotransmitters.
  • Imbalances in your bodies hormones, especially Cortisone.
  • And of course “inherited traits”.


Non Biological Causes

  • Chronic Anxiety from the past. (Represented in Row 1 from panel of Images)
  • Chronic fear from within. ( Represented in Row 2 from panel)
  • Associated anxieties from the present. ( Row 3 of panel )
  • Associated anxieties of the future. ( row 4 of panel )


Components of Anxiety and Depression.

  • Cognitive: You over worry, and over monitor your own performance when in a group of people. This is followed by a pointless post analysis of all social and professional events. The end result of this is to stop going out and meeting new people.
  • Physiological: This is best explained when a person Perceives that they have encountered a danger. This is usually caused by some traumatic event in the past. But in the present, once its triggered, the response can be as mild as a Skin Blush, to heavy sweating, to collapse. But this situation is often worsened because from the outside people reacting negatively to the person experiencing these uncomfortable and uncontrollable symptoms.
  • Behaviororal: This is what people choose to do when struck with Anxiety and Depression. They can be divided into positive components where people seek help and engaged activities such as Deep Breathing Exercises, Yoga, and range up to medication. The other subdivision is seen as negative for example over drinking, over smoking, drug abuse, self-harm and even suicide.

Needless to mention that there can be all sorts of complications when people have multiple reactions as to how they try to handle their symptoms.

THIS IS A SILENT ILLNESS, there are no obvious outward signs. The signs can be simple as a non return of a mail, not going to a social gathering and ranging up to addictions and even suicide.”Michael Hayes


Images 1 to 5:

The first row of images represents, how the church and other religions may have influenced our lives in a negative way in our development. Of course this is not the case in everybody’s experience. This is my own personal experience.


Images 6 to 10:

All these images, have 2 figures. I used them to show how one can feel living with this condition, and how it is presented to others.


Images 11 to 15:

Deals with some daily manifestations chronic anxiety and depression.


Images 16 to 20:

This layer of images, will attempt to illustrate what can preoccupy the minds of depressed and overly anxious people while letting their mind dwell too long in the future.