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The Yorkshire


Photography by Emily Ryalls

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Emily Ryalls works at the intersection of photography and performance to examine her own local environment, cultural roots and classic literature. More recent works have been used to encourage a discourse around healthcare politics for women. 

"Shortly after Christmas last year, my mum and I drove up to the moors. Living in Wakefield, we’ve taken the dogs for countless walks using the Yorkshire Moors’ beauty as our backdrop. It was the landscape I grew up to know and love. We parked the car and sat for a while, sifting through eight years of medical notes – handpicking the most psychoanalytical. We laughed with relief, seeking to find humour in what was once despair. We’re just that kind of family I suppose. We strung the notes up on a makeshift washing line in the bleak landscape, the wind was vicious but the performance grounded us. The photographs capture a therapeutic performance for both me and my mum. She’s not pictured but we still felt very much like the intertwined pairing we were always perceived as. It became almost conclusive for those years of dismissal and misdiagnosis. We’d grown to be seen as one entity, both as problematic as each other and our lives slowly became careful. We’d tread lines finer than those I walk between. My mum picks one particular hospital letter to read to me, a repetition of ‘The Mother’ – each time a capital T.

So, as the notes dance in the wind, I am pictured weaving between the very fine lines."

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