Maybe you know someone outside the boundaries of what general society considers normal… someone who checks if the lights are off 10 times, or has to arrange everything “just so”… maybe that person is even you. Photographer John William Keedy was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder nine years ago, one which left him unable to interact with society, but one which inspired him to create a series titled “It’s Hardly Noticeable.” It’s dedicated to those who don’t quite fit into the standard definition of normal.
“At its worst I had a lot of difficulty with crowds and large groups of people, and so I would do things like grocery shop late at night or early in the morning when stores were more likely to be empty,” Keedy tells Wired. “At one point I also had a difficult time interacting with strangers, and while now I’m much better at that than I used to be, there was a period when it caused me to have a fairly limited network of friends.”
Keedy’s work is one which touches upon a wide spectrum of possible neurosis, treating what he understandably feels is a serious topic with a touch of clever humor. Some of his images are easy to decipher – like a desk sectioned off into an organized grid with carefully arranged objects. Others are not so easy to pin down – like his hole filled milk glass draining all over a clean table. In this latter case Keedy offers two explanations; one, that the glass symbolizes the “glass is half full/half empty” idiom; or two, that with an optimistic half full perspective, it can take constant effort to maintain that attitude.
See more of Keedy’s work, which draws inspiration from himself and those around him while aiming to examine ”the concept of personal identity by investigating its development, maintenance, expression, and destruction,” at johnwilliamkeedy.com.