PhotoSummer: Artist's Statement

Audra Osborne

Controlled Burn

Living with anxiety can be overwhelming. It is isolating, exhausting and worst of all; it's unpredictable. There are days when I don't even notice the subtleties of my anxious brain, and then out of nowhere, my lips are tingling, my heart is pounding, and I have to remind myself to breathe. These seemingly arbitrary panic attacks have disrupted my life too many times to keep count. Now in my 30th year, I have stopped holding them back. 

Controlled Burn documents the discovery and exploration of letting my anxiety run its course. When my heart starts beating faster, I don't try to calm down or relax – I own it. I let it burn and start fresh from the ashes. 

These images were shot during various stages of panic. It's controlled, it's chaotic, it's quiet, it's unapologetic. My hope is that people with or without a mental health disorder will find them relatable. My struggle is not uncommon, and I find comfort in knowing I am not alone.