With “Fotomonday“, each week we showcase the work of women photographers from around the world.
Too Tired For Sunshine is a collection of photographs made in Vermont between 2011–2016. Though centered largely on animals and rural landscapes, these deeply personal images reflect my state of mind during a period spent battling depression and intense anxiety.
Drawn from daily life, the photographs explore loneliness and mortality as seen through a lens of absurdist dark humor. I am drawn to subjects that unsettle me–backyard slaughterhouses, roadkill, decay in various forms–as well as depictions of isolation in people, animals, and even inanimate objects. Often I find myself photographing subjects that appear to me drastically out of place, seemingly devoid of context–an oven left in an abandoned field, a man dressed as a medieval peasant walking his dog on a country road, a woman sweeping the outside of a church.
Making these photographs has given me separation from the darkness of the subjects themselves, and provided relief from feelings of dread. Furthermore, the juxtaposition of the images in Too Tired For Sunshine surprises and delights me. My hope is that people who view these photographs will discover a sense of unreality–sometimes grotesque, other times absurd, always beautiful–lurking in the midst of ordinary life.
Tara Wray is a photographer, writer, and filmmaker based in rural Vermont. She is a regular contributor to Vice, BUST Magazine, and is photo editor of the literary journal Hobart. She created and curates Some Days Just Are, a collaborative photo series pairing together photographers from around the world to tell their stories simultaneously. Recently she launched the Too Tired Project, which aims to help those struggling with depression by offering a platform for collective creative expression.
Her work has been featured on Washington Post, Vice, Archive Collective Magazine, La Presse, Lenscratch, Humble Arts Foundation, Burn Magazine, Thought Catalog, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Aint-Bad Magazine, among others, and is held in collections at major institutions including Yale University, University of Notre Dame, Dartmouth College, the George Eastman House, and the Amon Carter Museum.
Born and raised in Kansas, Wray graduated from NYU with a degree in documentary film. She has directed two feature length documentaries: Manhattan, Kansas (Audience Award, SXSW 2006; Film Society of Lincoln Center) and Cartoon College (Vancouver 2012).
Her new photobook, Too Tired for Sunshine, was recently published by Yoffy Press.
See more of her work:
All images and text © Tara Wray