Brophy, Nicola

Nicola Brophy is a photographer, currently training as an Art therapist in the UK. She lived her whole life as a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Every choice and decision she made was based on her faith, even to the point of mental health issues and undeniable misery which came from the complete submission of true self. Her work was done while faithful, now as she deconstructs, her past work is filled with new meaning surrounding loss, disappointment, family, and Mormon culture.

Artist Statement

Nicola Brophy only allowed herself to question her belief in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of 34, once her Mother passed away after a 6 year battle with cancer.

Until this time Nicola’s life had completely revolved around what she felt the Lord wanted her to do and be. Even though art was always a large part of her life she often gave it up to keep the standards expected of her as a daughter of God wanting to be worthy and receive the highest blessings of the Temple.  Even after choosing to study photography, Nicola only felt she could use it to glorify God and his true church. This was a hard balance to maintain as she studied at BA and MA level. She always felt guilty for wanting to create art, for any time spent in the darkroom or taking photos, but it was also where she truly felt like herself.

After questioning and leaving the church the images taken to glorify God now feel different. They have become empty, and a representation to her of being outside the faith. Where before she had been worthy of the things photographed, they were now not accessible to her.

These Images come from Nicola’s MA project ‘House of the Lord’ which was trying to capture the feeling of the Temple she grew up next to in the north of England and the community around it. Nicola wants to create new work but is still struggling with understanding how to create art when it is not to build the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. She is currently studying to become a qualified art therapist and hopes she can come back to photography again soon.

House of the Lord