Tamara Staples Photo Exhibition
Side Effects May Include is a photo-based installation by Tamara Staples that focuses on the relationship between mental health and poly-pharmacy, or the simultaneous use of multiple drugs by a single patient. The project was inspired by the artist’s sister, who took her life with a cocktail of pharmaceuticals after living with bipolar disorder for many years. Following her death, Staples collected the contents of her sister’s medicine cabinet, sorted the thousands of pills, arranged them in patterns, and photographed them. She then translated the photos into wallpaper, a quilt, upholstery, dresses, and drapes to create an entire room covered in pill-based patterns. This deceptively alluring and decorative display immerses the viewer in a cacophony of images, echoing the tremendous scope of the poly-pharmacy epidemic in the United States today. In conjunction with Side Effects May Include, Blue Sky will host a panel discussion about mental health and poly-pharmacy on Saturday, October 6th at 3PM. The panel will include mental health practitioners and individuals with lived experience including John Herold, Director of Puget Sound Hearing Voices; Gina Nikkel,PhD, President and CEO of The Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care; Sean Syrek, Department Director with the Mental Health Association of Oregon; and Tamara Staples, exhibiting artist. Moderated by scholar and educator of medical humanities Lois Leveen.
Tamara Staples is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York. After she received her BFA in Photography from the University of Florida in Gainesville, she began her career as a prop stylist for print and television. Now a commercial and fine art photographer, her work has appeared in numerous publications including Harper’s Magazine, New York Times, Chicago Tribune Magazine, Food and Wine, Town and Country, Utne Reader and Bloomberg Business Magazine. Her work has been also featured on This American Life, CNN, Slate Magazine and NPR’s Animal House. Staples has exhibited at Davis Orton Gallery in Hudson, New York; Purdue University Galleries in Lafayette, Indiana; Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, Georgia; Ricco Maresca Gallery in New York City; Museum of Modern Art in Baltimore, Maryland; Aron Packer Gallery in Chicago, Illinois; and Lightworks Gallery in Charlotte, North Carolina. Staples is the recipient of a NYFA Grant, a PDN self promotion award, the 2014 Bronze award from the Royal Photographic Society, and has completed a Rauschenberg Residency. This is her second solo show at Blue Sky.