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Zen Xan

by Lawrence Hardy

Zen Xan is an evocative journey through the intricacies of Lawrence Hardy’s tumultuous life. It leads through the alleys of his mind as he combats his personal history of trauma and seeks the brighter side of everyday life. It unveils the impact of a childhood marred by violence, childhood abuse, and the abrupt loss of a guiding figure, his father, who not only played a paternal role but also that of a mother and cherished friend. The ‘trickle-down’ effect of this poignant narrative led to Hardy’s relentless struggles against mental illness and addiction.
Set against the backdrop of Aroostook County’s freshsummer mornings and freezing winters, Zen Xan spans across three years. Hardy’s fight against the stigma of mental health and addiction is beautifully expressed through his visual language, capturing moments that propel forward and occasionally set back. The journey unfolds from rock bottom to sobriety, utilizing the transformative outlet of photography, a medium that breathes life into Hardy’s narrative.
It is an arresting visual expression of a personal story of feeling lost and gradually understanding life. Beyond clichés, it persistently offers reassurance, telling those facing similar challenges: ‘You’re not alone; there’s always a different path.’

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