Isabella Lanave

2015 - Ongoing

Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil; Santa Catarina, Brazil; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fatima is a long-term project centred on the relationship between my mother and I. When I was ten, my mother was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. The discovery of her mental illness changed the way of living of our family and it was only in the past two years that we started talking about our feelings surrounding it. Getting closer to each other became less painful than moving away.

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  • Curitiba, Brazil – November, 2017 – A picture in my grandmother’s house. This is an old photo but my mother was never there. They are her adoptive brothers and sister.

  • Itajaí, Brazil – June, 2016 - My mother and my brother sleeping in her room. Since the first treatment Fatima has a pill diet and had several relapses. Each day is a new day. Today she is great, tomorrow she might not want to leave her bed.

  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. January, 2017 – The road we pass together. With the pass of the time my mother and me started to think about places and symbols to tell our history. I grew up moving houses and travelling, because when I was 12 we moved out to another state, but our family stayed in our city, Curitiba.

  • Itajaí, Brazil. January, 2018 - Maria, Luceli e Fatima in my family’s house. My grandmother adopted Fatima when she was 5 and she grew up separate from her biological sisters. Years ago, the sisters attempted to be together whenever possible.

  • Itajaí, Brazil. June, 2017. My mother in an abandoned building. Bipolar people don’t live solely in crisis. There are two clear phases: Depression and Mania. The latter was related to finding one’s place in the world.

  • Curitiba, Brazil. 1996. My mother and I in my grandmother house. We lived with my grandmother until I was five.

  • Itajaí, Brazil. January, 2018. A dead fish in my mother’s grass. The smell of fish thrown on the hot asphalt is the memory that Fatima has of her biological mother's death. She died by a car in front of her house when my mother was 4.

  • Itajaí, Brazil. January, 2018. Clouds on the sky. My mother was hospitalized six times and she always wrote some texts or poems. I found a paper recently that she wrote, “Today there are black clouds in the sky, in the sky, because it isn’t my sky.”

  • Itajaí, Brazil. January, 2018. Fatima in a rice planting. Kay Jamison, a psychiatrist with bipolar disorder, wrote in her book “Unquiet Mind” that the feeling about this illness is like a poem from Dylas Thomas: "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower/Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees/Is my destroyer."

  • Itajaí, Brazil. January, 2018. My mother’s hands. My mother is in a never ending construction of her mind and relationships. In addition, a kind of therapy for her is to take care of the garden.

  • Itajaí, Brazil – January, 2018. Maria, Luceli, Fatima and Vera in my family’s house. My mother and her biological sisters.

  • Itajaí, Brazil. June, 2017. My mother’s vision from her room. Fatima usually looks outside the window to see the greener as she can; it is something that relaxes her for a few moments.

  • Itajaí, Brazil. January, 2018. My mother lying on the grass. Many times Fatima wanted to leave, to get away from her bad thoughts and leave them away from our family.

  • Itajaí, Brazil. January, 2018. A road in my mother’s neighbourhood. We felt that our relationship is flowing better step by step with the time.

  • Curitiba, Brazil. April, 2017. My mother in crisis in my uncle’s car. We were getting her to a clinic.

  • Itajaí, Brazil. August, 2017. I, my stepfather, my brother and my mother. I am feeling with my best and my worst when we are together.

  • Curitiba, Brazil. April, 2017. My mother lying on the sofa in my house. During her crisis, my reaction was always to step away. In 2017, it was different. In my house, in a crisis, lying on the sofa she would tell me: “I want to go back to my mom’s uterus”.

  • Itajaí, Brazil. June, 2017. A mattress in an abandoned building. We are trying to reflect the feelings of my mother when she was hospitalized.

  • Itajaí, Brazil. August, 2017. My mother and I in her neighbourhood. Our days are inconstant, every day is a new day and I hope she wakes up fine. Accepting this is the first step to continue this project and make our relationship better.