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Melanie Manchot, Twelve, 2015. Photo by Brian Slater.

This non-linear series of film sequences was developed in close collaboration with twelve Liverpool-based participants engaged in a substance misuse recovery program. Inspired by moments within the history of cinema that depict substance misuse, participants present their own stories as self-authored content and performance in the form of cinematic triptychs.

Obsession, identity, and transformation are explored through both the narrative and the visual cues employed throughout the performances.

Repetitive and compulsive gestures -cutting grass with a pair of scissors, cleaning one tile for a very long time- sit alongside spoken memories and thoughts. These gestures echo the over-arching theme of cyclicality -journeys without departures or arrivals, panicked pacing, insistently ticking clocks - act as a constant, Sisyphean reminder of the unending cycle of addiction.

Courtesy of the artist. Commissioned by Portraits of Recovery with funding from The Wellcome Trust National touring show supported by Arts Council England.