PHOTOGRAPHY

AWARDS 2020

BARBARA MIHÁLYI

Hungary

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My Invisible Disease

(2017)

 

ABOUT THE ARTWORK: Others do not know how to talk about it. They do not dare to talk about it and they do not want to. I have to, this is my job. I have been struggling with body problems since I was 14 years old. I always wanted to lose weight but I always liked to eat. There is a picture of what is beautiful but that is only the manipulation of the beauty industry. Trying to reach this illusion I forgot to see my real beauty – I only felt shame and self-loathing. (…) I’ve spent seven years with striving for recognition, living an unhealthy lifestyle, desperately wanting true love. The result was Colitis Ulcerosa - an autoimmun disease, an inflammation on the colon. This disease is scary because it is for a lifetime. It is not visible. I am the only one who knows it is happening. I am the one who knows there are feces in my underwear, who knows it hurts when I eat something heavy and knows when it bleeds. A lot. I am alone on the toilet and every night in my bed when I have to put my medicine. (…) I was forced to make changes. I was training myself, I learned to cook, eat healthy, studied herbs, doing sports. I'm still not thin. But I'm healthier and more balanced, and I love my body. I accepted that my hair will not be curly, my breasts will not be perkier, I will not be shorter, nor 40 kilos. I learned to love my wrinkles, spots, skin imperfections. I'm not fighting for something what I can't change. (…) It feels good to be in my body because this is my only home.’

 

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Barbara Mihályi is an emerging Hungarian artist, filmmaker and photographer. A graduate of the Hungarian University of Fine Art, she lives and works in Italy, in 2017 she had an artist residency in Birmingham. Barbara works in photography and video with a playful and seductive style that overcomes the boundaries of the lens and speaks to you in a way only a friend could; honest, critical and caring. Barbara’s work is often personal; her project documenting the ups and downs of her recently diagnosed illness received critical acclaim and was featured in the year 2017 Best of Diploma exhibition at the Hungarian University of Fine Art. For her most recent solo show ‘Where did you come from?’ at Ericcson Gallery Barbara examined through numerous interviews with her friends living abroad how we survive and thrive away from home. Currently she is working in the topic of body-consciousness and nature.