Photo project

Unbreaking a Heart: Life after the End of a Relationship in Laura Stevens’ Project

Based on her own feelings, photographer Laura Stevens created a project about women who went through a breakup with someone they loved and showed how they were coping with loss.
Laura Stevens Age 39

Born in Bedfordshire (UK), lives in Paris. Studied photography at Leeds Metropolitan University and the University of Brighton. Had solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in the UK, Spain, Latvia, Portugal, Singapore, US, and France. Won awards or was shortlisted at numerous international photo contests. Published her works in The Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Huffington Post, CNN, British Journal of Photography, and many other media outlets.

Another November is a visual narrative on life after the end of a relationship, exploring how one copes with heartbreak and the loss of love. I staged scenes using other women to enact the slow steps of adjustment towards acceptance and a renewed personal identity as a single person.

It began 6 months after a significant relationship in my life ended.

I was paralyzed with feelings of loss and it was as if this was my escape route, a way to navigate back to myself.

I worked very quickly and obsessively. I did not really think about it being seen at the time and how revealing it would be, but heartbreak and loss are universal experiences and I think it can be beneficial to show that we are not alone in this.

The women are mostly friends of mine all photographed in their own apartments. I also approached women in the street when I felt a natural attraction towards them. Nearly all the women I asked immediately responded positively.

Heartbreak can be said to follow a pattern similar to that of grief, and the stages you go through can feel monumental, and I wanted to express all of these small, but significant changes. For me, the first half of the series portrays a sense of desolation and hopelessness and the second half, a slow rebuilding and acceptance of oneself and one’s situation.

It is a project about nostalgia, which comforts at first but it can keep you from engaging with the present and creating a new future. I wanted to show that change is a constant, that life is always moving forwards.

Ultimately it became a means to express my fears and uncertainties, interpreting them visually to better understand all of these new, acute emotions. I could create something beautiful from a difficult situation, and that was a very positive thing for me.

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