Patrick Keast has put together a collection of work depciting his battle with alcohol addiciton – which has been endoresed by Bafta winning film-maker Garry Fraser.
Patrick’s Recovery Journey exhibition has opened in the city. It portrays how with support from the charity Cyrenians Patrick was able to turn his life around and how his love of taking photos helped him with his recovery.
Patrick, of Bathgate, said: “My photography is like art therapy for me. Being absorbed in a creative process is very liberating. My hope is that my photography can provoke thoughts in others as it has in me.”
“I took up photography when travelling to and from self-management and recovery training meetings and attending the Cyrenians Recovery Hub in Bathgate over the past two-and-a-half years.
“I am self-taught in digital photography. At first it was a useful diversion and a way to record happy times spent with my parents, brothers and nephews. I had already began to document my recovery journey in photographs.
“I became absorbed in the creative process and found it helpful in coping with post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and thoughts of using alcohol.
“Taking responsibility for my own recovery and being able to give something back is very empowering.
Patrick was asked by staff at Cyrenians if he could provide photographs for the first anniversary of the new recovery hub. He used photographs of hub events and activities and photos which represented his addiction and his own difficult path to recovery in the exhibition, now on show at My Front Room Café on Salisbury Place.
Patrick said: “The meaning I found in these photographs gave me the purpose to share them with others in addiction, recovery and those affected by addiction.
“I believe an image can convey more than words alone and hope my work can carry a message to those still struggling with addiction.”
Garry Fraser – whose film Everybody’s Child about his own story of addiction to recovery won a Bafta in 2014 and who was the assistant director on Trainspotting 2.0 – said: “I think it’s great to be part of an exhibition that highlights the importance of creating a link between creativity and recovery. It’s a subject that’s very close to my heart.”
My Front Room owner Nick Keenan said: “From the moment I met Patrick, his journey inspired me. The exhibition is designed to inspire others to realise that it’s never too late to make a change.”
Cyrenians CEO Ewan Aitken said: “It is a brave thing Patrick has done in putting this exhibition on. Hopefully it will inspire others to tell their story and increase the understanding about the reality of addiction and the need for support in recovery.”