Intimacy with my Garden ...

The rolling exhibition 'Living with PTSD' has begun and 'Intimacy with Plants' is a smaller exhibition that's a part of the show.  It's a set of 15 macro images that were created in my own garden during a period of time when leaving my home was particularly difficult.

'Intimacy with Plants' is available to smaller venues and will accompany a set of poetry expressing the harder moments of living with PTSD.  The aim being the same:  to show how photography can temporarily take you away from the chains of living with PTSD.

There's a book accompanying the exhibition that will be on Kindle only (but readable on any personal computer) and it will be priced at one unit of your particular currency (eg £1, $1 etc plus Amazon's tax).

Here's an extract from the book:

As a result of military service, I live with a condition known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The untrained eye won't see anything amiss if watching me walking down the street.  It's an invisible wound that makes life very difficult at times.

Poetry helps me to vent the caged up emotions and feelings that the general populace aren't aware of ... but photography helps me to escape the chains of the condition for a while.

Part of the application process for the main exhibition, Living with PTSD, was to do some developmental work in terms of my photography.  I was going through a particularly bad time and found it more difficult that usual to leave my home.  I turned to 'plan B' for some solace.

Plan B is simple ... develop an ecological environment in my own garden with beautiful flora and fauna that will entice wildlife into the garden ... thus allowing me to continue with my photographic work in the safety of my own home in those times when I find going out very difficult.

I don't want to repeat the information that I published in 'Living with PTSD - Journey of a Veteran' - where I elaborated on some issues.  This book is about setting up the garden and looking at how you can help restore some balance to the different areas of wildlife that suffer a negative impact from an ever increasing  human population.

I sometimes sit with my 91 year old neighbour and listen to her describe this area that I live in, Aspley - Nottingham, and the changes that she has seen are tremendous in terms of scale.   When she was younger, this area was mainly woods and fields.  The current area bears no resemblance to the area that she grew up in.  I haven't named her because she made me promise not to write about her ... I hope this little piece won't be viewed as a breach of her trust.  If it is - it'll be removed.

We should spend more time with our elders as they have no 'party political' slant on what they tell us, just their own take on things.  So much information, lore and history is being lost.  Information that we still need to learn from.  Life moves in cycles ... the days may come when we will need to rely upon such information again.

My neighbour is also my friend.  Despite her age she is a very open, inquisitive, humourous and intelligent lady that doesn't harbour any discrimination that I've seen.  Everything that you see in this book began in her front room over cups of tea as I'd talk with her about the plans and then draw rough sketches on her notepad.  We even went to some garden centres together and picked plants for our own gardens.  One of her rose bushes is over fifty years old!

The best part was watching her expression when she'd see the results of the plan come to life in the garden that now exists.  I get a telling off from her now and then because it's not as tidy as it can be!  I enjoy sitting in my garden with her ... and sharing the beautiful moments that I've witnessed there. The garden is a living project and just an important part of 'Living with PTSD'.

I hope that you'll enjoy the book and try to set up your own eco-space ... and get some great images from it!

Villayat 'SnowMoon Wolf' Sunkmanitu