Rosy Nesbitt: A Portrait of Recovery

Having obtained a First Class Honors degree in Photography at Sheffield Hallam University last year, I continue to further my practice within portrait and documentary photography. I very much enjoy capturing different groups of people and how they live their lives, which led to the start of my project, ‘A Portrait of Recovery’. I wanted to concentrate on individuals who are trying to reclaim their lives from drug and alcohol abuse, so in 2012, I began volunteering at Sheffield Alcohol Support Services, (SASS).

Their aim is ‘to enable people to change their lives through a range of specialist alcohol, drug and family-centred services.’ These are individuals that we might disregard as members of society. What interests me the most is how fascinatingly different the lives we lead, as humans, are. I volunteered at SASS for a year whilst I was carrying out my project, and continue to do so today.

Having focused on their stories of what made them turn to their addictions, I have met a completely new group of people that I wouldn’t have known existed otherwise. ‘A Portrait of Recovery’ is an on-going project, which concentrates on including the excluded, and reveals the often-overlooked issues that such individuals have to face. The already completed work focuses on a male-dominant group, as at the time of shooting, there weren’t many women present. Building on this work, I am now documenting the female users of the Sheffield Alcohol Support Services, (SASS), as part of the City as Bricolage project. I have also been running short six-week photography courses for SASS users throughout the year, to allow them to get involved with photography and create their own images.