Phil and Me
Amanda TetraultThu 30 Sep 2004 - Sat 30 Oct 2004
'Phil and Me', an exhibition of photographs by Amanda Tetrault, was presented by Trolley Gallery to mark World Mental Health Day, examining not only the effects of schizophrenia on those who suffer from it, but also the relationships of those sufferers with their families and loved ones.
'Phil and Me', an exhibition of photographs by Amanda Tetrault, was presented by Trolley Gallery to mark World Mental Health Day, examining not only the effects of schizophrenia on those who suffer from it, but also the relationships of those sufferers with their families and loved ones.

The photographs were taken from the book published by Trolley, Phil and Me, in which Amanda explores the world of her father Philip Tetrault, a poet, who has lived with schizophrenia since he attended McGill University at the age of 21. Philip was a poet suffused with promise and was hailed by Leonard Cohen as Canada's best kept secret in 1989...before he slipped into yet another schizophrenic nightmare.



The book juxtaposes Philip's poetry with black and white images of him taken during the sporadic meetings with Amanda. The photographs encompass a period of six years and the poetry eight years. Photo-booth pictures that span the past twenty-seven years form the thread that binds the surreal visual and poetic narrative. Phil & Me evolved into a collaboration between father and daughter after Amanda asked Philip to try to write again. Since then he has given her scraps of paper and napkins full of poetry at every meeting.



Philip's poetry immerses us into the reality of his days - moving through the cafes and parks of Montreal, his habitual Mickey of vodka in hand, where many of his acquaintances are street kids, squirrels, crows and seagulls. His are the musings of a man who has survived a crippling disease - a disease rarely discussed and more often disowned.



The exhibition was supported by SANE. Through her photographs Amanda Tetrault meets head-on the stigmas often felt by people with serious mental illness, their families and carers, unflinchingly recording the bouts of homelessness and alcoholism that exacerbate Phil's illness as well as documenting his humanity and the strength of their relationship. SANE actively campaigns against stigma.
Artworks will be added shortly