Ivohe , a London-based singer-songwriter who broke down during coffee with her photographer friend, inspired a unique series of photographs that can be listened to below. CK Goldiing, a portrait photographer from Sheffield, UK, recalls, “Ivohé and I were hanging out, ready to shoot later that day. As we finished our coffees, she went to the bathroom. Three minutes later, she returned, with a helpless look in her eyes. Right there, in front of me, she broke down. I’d never seen her do this before, though I did know she battles with depression, she told me weeks earlier.
We got to find out more from CK Goldiing about the audio-photo project he created with young singer / songwriter Ivohe , who has been battling bouts of depression.
Hello , How are you ? Can you introduce yourself to our readers ?
Hey, I’m CK, and when I’m not romancing shortbread and tea, you’ll find me doing one of two things – either presenting live & online TV content or photographing the most fun, talented, down-to-earth music & fashion humans alive.
What was the precursor to this audio-photo project ?
‘Vitae’ was the most bittersweet accident you could ever imagine. Ivohé is one of my favourite people to shoot – she’s uniquely expressive: her face always says so much without really saying anything. She also has a singing voice to behold. On a less jubilant note, she experiences intermittent battles with depression. One afternoon, we were hanging-out, preparing to shoot photos, and an hour before we began, during a bathroom break, she returned in tears. She had a panic attack while using the facilities. As she told me what happened, I suggested we abandon the shoot, but to my shock, she wasn’t having any of it – she was insistant that her emotional dips don’t rule her life, so she said, “No, fuck it, we’re doing this.” and off we went to shoot some photos.
The idea of Ivohé writing music specifically for the series of photographs only came to me two months later, as I reflected on the afternoon and wanted to do more than just ‘show’ a series of images – I felt the day, the pictures and my friend deserved so much more.
Within three days of inviting her to write and produce original music to accompany the photographs, my inbox lit-up with her classically delicate and emotion-laden voice.
What were you aiming to depict ?
Honest answer? I wasn’t aiming to depict anything. One of my biggest irritations with photography is the art form’s occasional lapse into self-indulgent gobbledygook. Ultimately, this series simply records the day I was hanging-out with a friend.
How did you meet Ivahoe ?
aw, I have the fondest memories of our meeting. I met her towards the end of my #100Musicians challenge (in 2015, CK left his Sheffield home, travelling to London with just a bag of clothes, his camera and £100. He set himself the challenge to equip 100 unsigned musicians with stunning new promotional photos – for which, they paid him whatever they wanted. CK had to live, eat and travel on all the contributions. If he ran out of money before shooting 100 artists, challenge failed! The challenge was successfully completed six-months later). She was performing at Paper Dress Vintage’s open mic, and I arrived late. As I went upstairs, I was overcome with the voice drifting down the stairs. Eventually, once she finished her set, I went over and said “hi”. I believe her opening sentence was, “are you a fundraiser?”I later learned she asked me this because apparently fundraisers “always sound confident.”She’s a funny one, bless her.
Stream her music below :
What is your definition of depression ?
Wow, I’m not sure I’m the right person to answer this, but reflecting on the conversations I’ve had with those who experience its unwelcome presence, I’d say depression is a suffocating blanket of powerlessness. Honestly, that’s the best I can do. I’ve been in a relationship with someone who had an ongoing battle with depression and have a number of friends in the same position, and all of them, with no exceptions, are the brightest, kindest, finest people to spend time with. Depression is curious, to say the least.
Do you feel that depression is something that needs to be tackled more rigorously in the music industry ?
Is depression tackled rigorously anywhere, though? Again, please don’t consider me a leading figure on the issue, I’m really not. That said, the number of times I’ve heard someone fighting depression say, “wow, strides are really being made towards respecting the overwhelming impact of depression.” can be counted on no hands. As far as this question is concerned, I’d be more inclined to invite anyone reading this, whether they’re a musician, architect, police officer, whatever, to share their thoughts on whether society’s relationship with depression is a positive one.
And how can we all come together to increase awareness of the problem ?
Funny you ask that, because no more than thirty-minutes ago, I was on Twitter and noticed Liz Fraser (author, columnist, broadcaster) has almost achieved her crowdfunding target to launch a website called ‘Headcase’ – an app that intends to blitz and rebrand the face of mental health forever. So, for starters, maybe take a look at Liz’ wonderful project. Beyond that, a recurring thing I’ve heard from friends with mental health challenges is ‘just be there, listen, and listen without judgement’.
Like everything in life, a little can do a lot.