‘The Sea That Surrounds Us’ is a photo series by professional photographer Maureen Drennan that documents her husband’s battle with depression and her own battle to understand his mental problems.
The name of the art project is taken from a line from a love poem by Pablo Neruda called Night on the Island, a title that reflects the photographer’s decision to intersperse pictures of her husband Paul with pictures from Block Island, Rhode Island, which is where she spent time as a child. The barrenness and isolation of the island work as both a physical embodiment of the distance she felt from her husband who has been living with depression as well as a tangible manifestation of her husband’s own interior state during his mental health deterioration. They’ve since put those difficult times of fighting depression time behind them, but her beautiful photo series serves as a reminder of how fragile we are as humans, and how difficult it is to truly understand the experiences of another person, no matter how close they may seem to us.
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