Substrate Gallery is pleased to present Canadian documentary photographer Ivory Day, from May 1st to May 15th 2014 – Artists reception is Thursday, May 1st, 2014 from 7pm to 11pm.

Day has assembled a collection of photographs on the de-institutionalization of the severely mentally ill. This body of photos simultaneously support Mental Health Housing and offer a series of individual experiences related to mental illness. Artistically, Day is inspired by the photographer of “deviant and marginal people” Diane Arbus and photojournalist Mary Ellen Mark, Day has taken on where their work has left off.

“This project is a very personal one for me. On both sides of my family there are long lines of mental illness”, says Day. Because of her personal association with the situations portrayed, the work attempts to avoid the negative representation of the mentally ill. To do so she is presenting a collection of intimate portraits of these residents, portraying personalities rather than illness. The project consists of thirty photographs taken in Canada, France and the United States with a short one-to-two sentence story or quote of each subject.

Ivory Day’s intention of this body of work is to open a discussion of the topic and to raise awareness of lives affected by mental illness. “I see it as a positive approach to creating tolerance, understanding and aid for those who need it”, says artist Ivory Day.

Ivory Day is also a member of the Mexico City art collective: Superficie. The collectives’ exhibition of photographs along with Ivory’s is important to the central subject of Mental Health Housing because it reveals a point of aesthetic perception. Day has worked closely with Superfice artists over the past two years and they have helped shape her work both conceptually and aesthetically on the subject.

Exhibiting Superficie artists are Manuel Guillén “Guillman”, Felipe Reissenweber, Cesar Oropeza, Pilar Henríquez among others. Curaduría: Guillermo Clemente Superficie / Astrolab México.

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