Trevor Horne’s home is nestled in one of Stratford’s oldest neighbourhoods. It is clear upon approach that it is lovingly cared for by someone with an eye for detail. Indeed, it is the eye of a photographer that is evident throughout the heritage home’s creative gardens, carefully selected artwork, and collection of small sculptures and memorabilia.
It seems impossible to imagine a time when photography was not a part of Trevor’s life – his passion so obvious and his talent so evident. However, for many years he dropped all of his artistic endeavors as he struggled with bipolar disorder and addiction.
“I had always had highs and lows in terms of both my mood and my ambition. The addiction complicated that. Even though I had started taking photos when I was much younger, all of that stopped for many years,” he recalls. Ten years ago, Trevor sought help for his bipolar disorder and two years ago got completely clean and sober.
He regularly saw a psychiatrist and accessed community mental health services. His returning health saw the reemergence of Trevor as photographer. “I believe photography is what I was meant to do, it’s exciting for me and I feel compelled towards it,” he explains. “And photography itself is good for me – the activity and keeping busy.”
In November 2016, he decided it was time to give back to the mental health community that had supported him throughout his recovery. Despite his nervousness, Trevor staged his first show at Stratford’s Factory 163, a collaborative community in a mixed-use facility geared towards the creative industry. The show, entitled, “Every Day Today,” was themed around the idea of enjoying every moment and doing something creative that you love every day. One hundred and fifty people attended and the show sold very well; $6,000 was raised for CMHA HP.
While continuing to work full-time at Toyota in Cambridge, Trevor hones what he refers to as his industrialcountry style. He finds much of his inspiration in a wooded area near his childhood home in Wellesley and in the man made intrusions to the natural landscape – electrical towers, street lamps, and fencing, for example. His work features spectacular light contrasts, interesting angles, and edgy compositions. The images are often titled with poignant lyrics or song titles that resonate with him.
The intention of the show is to shed some of that beautiful light he captures onto the issue of mental health. “[Mental illness] goes undetected so often. People have a hard time reaching out, taking the first step. We need more openness about mental health between people. These issues need to be out in the open.” He hopes his show raises awareness of mental health issues. By donating proceeds from the show to his local CMHA he also hopes that services are there for people when they make that first important step towards recovery.
Already in the works are plans for a 2017 event. Titled “The Unconventional Landscape,” it will examine what is unique and individual – what makes us who we are. Mental illness and mental health certainly be will be a part of the narrative.