Black Dog at the Royal Photographic Society

I co-presented a talk last month at the Royal Photographic Society with Gavan Goulder about his book, Black Dog.

I am the founder of The Photobook Club Collective, a collective of over 100 professional photographers and visual artists. At the beginning of the year we partnered with the RPS on a collaboration.

Our books are sold in the shop, there are a series of talks and we’re doing a digital exhibition during the upcoming BOP ( Books on Photography) festival in October. More details here.

Black Dog is a document of Gavan’s struggle with a mental health crisis, in 2018 he suffered a serious health issue, a minor stroke which resulted in a long period of depression. He found solace in photobooks by the likes of Stuart Freedman and Jeff Jacobsen.

Black Dog documents 30 days of recovery from depression. As such for me it’s one of the most important photobooks of the last 10 years as it starts a conversation about mental health and well being.

Every talk that Gav gives touches a least one person watching, and has resulted in that person seeking professional help for their issues. It starts the conversation, the beginning of asking for help. Whether its anxiety, depression, PTSD or complex issues.

Our own mental health is of vital importance and whilst the subject can be taboo for some, it’s so important that if we’re not feeling too well, we ask for help. It can be from a friend, a family member, whoever you feel comfortable talking to and then speak to your GP who can refer you for treatment from a psychotherapist.

The talk is an hour long and is a must see.

Thanks to my friend, patron and member of The Photobook Club, Jack Lowe for helping me edit the video.

I hope you find this recording helpful.

In the words of Gav Goulder from the book

“Depression can be just a way of your system saying, hold on, stop everything, we need to reboot your system and start again, slowly in our own time, at our own pace. Yet we need support in this, we need the help of friends and family: people who don’t care if you burst into tears again and again; people who love you unconditionally and believe in you.”

The book, Black Dog will be available to buy during the upcoming BOP photofair (Oct 7-9th) and of course on Gav’s website here. Priced at a very reasonable £10.

If you like this recording, consider supporting me on Patreon as I develop work.