From the archives: The Octopus in the Bathtub

Cinematographer Meg White has turned her anguish into art. She hopes that talking more openly about mental health in the workplace will bring relief for others.

When cinematographer and artist Meg White thinks of her anxiety, she pictures it as an octopus: tenacious and adaptable. ‘I think they’re incredible creatures,’ she says on the phone to Screenhub, ‘but they’re also these bizarre alien things. Their evolutionary path is very unique and different to the rest of the organisms on earth.’ 

White is explaining the eerie and disturbing photographs she’s created for her exhibition LoveSick (29 April – 13 May, Aro Gallery, Darlinghurst, NSW) in which the creatures appear, splayed and contained within pastel-coloured bathtubs. Bathtubs have an iconic and macabre history in pop culture, a place of refuge, cleansing and comfort, but also of self-harm.

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Rochelle Siemienowicz is a journalist for Screenhub. She is a writer, film critic and cultural commentator with a PhD in Australian cinema. She was the co-host of Australia's longest-running film podcast 'Hell is for Hyphenates' and has written a memoir, Fallen, published by Affirm Press. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram