ELASTIC – Ruth Guest

As we approach the launch of ELASTIC, we continue to introduce you to the participating artists and their work for the collective exhibition at Cork Photo Festival 2018. Today’s artist in focus is photographer and videographer Ruth Guest with her work – ‘Headlight’.

It can be really tough to pinpoint how I feel. My thoughts and emotions come in waves. One day I feel like I can conquer the world, the next day I’m lying in bed with my head under the covers, defeated, afraid of everything and nothing all at once. 

I took this photo; “HEADLIGHT” at the peak of my anxiety in May 2017. My agoraphobia had intensified to the point where I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house, except to drink in dive bars. Going on drives with friends provided me with some relief. One particular evening we drove up to the Dublin mountains just as the sun set over the city. It was beautiful – the pink in the sky melted into the orange glow of the street lamps and lights in houses flickered in the distance as the people of South Dublin settled in for the night. 

Amongst this army of lights on the horizon, something closer to me invited my attention – the headlights from the car glaring on the ditch in front of us. I took a photo. 

At the time, I didn’t think much about it – it was just one of the hundreds of scenes and seconds of life I capture. But in hindsight, the headlights have come to mean more than I could have anticipated. 

I associate that photo with a time in my life where nothing was clear. When I looked out into the world I was consumed with hate and negativity, the natural beauty around me was blurred by a debilitating panic and fear. Yet amidst the chaos of those uncomfortable feelings I discovered a slice of something that made me feel safe, relaxed and in control, and it was directly in front of me, pressing me to regain focus – the HEADLIGHT

You can see this piece on show at ELASTIC throughout April 2018 as part of Cork Photo Festival and for more of Ruth’s work follow her on Instagram