Author/Artist Name

Chad ReederFollow



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Academic Level at Time of Creation


Date of Creation

Fall 11-18-2022

Artist Statement

I have been shaped by loss. My art is deeply personal and is directly informed by the effects of suicide. My photographs and videos are a way to confront the reality of losing so many loved ones, as a way to reconnect to the world by seeking friendships through conversations about suicide. This is in order for the viewer to be presented with themes and formalities which challenges the stigma of suicide in order to save lives.

Suicide is something that cannot be left alone or not talked about. My works challenge the way one perceives suicide to reflect a different perspective on life itself. Having lost nine loved ones to suicide, I want to show that transformation is necessary in order to accept what one cannot change. Life is precious and something that should be handled with care, with my framing and subject matter I push this new outlook I have on life. If suicide is not constantly talked about, society will continue to lose beloved souls to their own unseen struggles.

In order for the viewer to be confronted with the many emotions by the image as I have been dealing with so much loss, my works are in color. This shows the transformative affects suicide has had on my life, ranging from wanting to take my own life to how to cope with overwhelming loss everyday. I am interested in representing moments and scenes that can be interpreted as rebirth or the moment of death. I do this to further push a new way of looking at suicide. This transformation of life from experiencing loss to suicide is achieved formally through different perspectives of light, pattern, shape and form. There is sharp lighting in some to reflect light as a way to see the world differently. Pattern, shape and form come together to resemble the harshness and loneliness one is hit with like a freight train when grieving. These themes and formalities are my self reflection into my own life and how suicide has completely transformed me into someone new.

My work, Taken Up, is about portraying the way suicide feels to me. The viewer is looking at a moment of time where someone just vanished in front of them. This is how my experience with suicide has affected my life. The visual elements of this work that aid in achieving said goal is through light, contrast and texture. Light is important in all of my photographs because it represents the transition that I have gone through. The light is meant to reflect my changed perspective on life. I want the viewer to see how there is still beauty in loss. The contrast on the spotlight of the clothes with the sharp shadows is a reflection of the contrast between life and death. Texture is important as well because it symbolizes the grittiness and rawness of suicide. With this I aim to push more impactful conversations concerning suicide to show how the beauty of loss can prevent others from taking their life. Through these experiences, I have been given a second chance at this life and this is what I am portraying.

My inspiration comes from my friends and loved ones who took their own lives. Suicide is a heavy inspiration for me and is what led me to become an artist. Learning how to live without them has enlightened me to become someone better than I was yesterday. My work is in dialogue with the artist Will Morgan whose subject matter and sharp lighting I try to emulate. With his works he creates this dreamstate and you also feel a sense of loss coupled with loneliness . My way of approaching a photograph is very similar and getting my work to speak for itself, this is something that is very important to me.


Chris Lavery


6 framed, 24"x16.6" photographs along with a projected video.




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