This week we are delighted to present the third of five SMHAF artist commissions on the theme My Experience of Isolation.

Amy Rosa makes live art, intimate performance, large-scale sculptural installations, recorded spoken text and photographic work about her experience of the world as a disabled woman living with multiple chronic illnesses. For SMHAF she is creating a series of photographic self-portraits and accompanying creative writing/spoken text about living with complex post traumatic stress disorder.

Today we are unveiling the first portrait plus some descriptive text – more portraits will be added to this page in the coming weeks.


Click on the portrait and text to view them in a larger size.

Image Description

A portrait oriented image of the interior of a 1960s social housing flat. The floor is coloured laminate wood effect and the wall to the left and the ceiling are magnolia coloured. In the background of the image are two clear square windows with rectangular textured glass under each one. The four windows take up the whole space between ceiling and floor. There are trees in the distance. To the left of the image is a wooden standard lamp with a traditional looking fringed lampshade, and on the floor to the right of the lamp (in the corner of the room) is a big wooden framed 1960s television. Central/right of the image is a white woman with short wavy red hair in a 1950s pink and black lace ballgown sitting in a turquoise and gold edged vintage wicker chair. She has an old fashioned walking stick, upright and resting on the inside of her left wrist, hand resting over the handle. Her arm is bare. Her body is facing the television but her head is looking down and to the left, so her profile is just visible behind the wave of her hair. There is an old fashioned small suitcase next to her, on the left. The lighting is bright, and there is a slight dark shadow in the top and bottom right of the image.


Empty pear crates poking splinters into my socks, packed, neatly. Packed in.

I wonder if some of us are always waiting.

I wonder how long I can do this balancing act.

But I shine, and people see my smile, and bask in me.

So I hold it all. Packed in.

I can’t let my deep shuddering breath into my soft belly, into my body that feels like a stranger.

Not yet.

It’s not safe and my net is too full of holes.

And now, again, the lens refocuses and we are somewhere new, a different timeline.

And here I am.

Holding it all.

Slowly becoming quieter and more still as my rushing waters overflow.



Find out more about Amy Rosa's work on her website. Header image by Tiu Makkonen.