Grace poses in front of her finished portrait
It's been just over two weeks since my work celebrating transgender femininty inspired by the Pre Raphaelites has been on show at Cornerhouse as part of Cornerhouse Projects.
The private view went really well with a great turn out including friends family and members of the transgender and gay community. Grace arrived with her mum in tow and I'm proud to say got a little emotional as I took her round all the pieces.
One of the main things I wanted to do in this project was focus on Grace as a person and show her in a way that would highlight her strengths and uniqueness. I wanted to show Grace as an individual, not as a transgender character. Even though this project involved the use of drag, as I have learned, it is just another way of exploring who you are, and I think certainly in this case it helped to emphasise the softer side of Grace, a side she doesn't often see in herself.
Some of the chalk studies of Grace in Pre Raphaelite drag and with no make up at all. In both cases her unique femininity shine through
The show runs alongside the work of Layla Sailor whose beautiful work also explores female iconography
People have responded really well telling me it's great to see art that has a positive message and I'm really glad to have had the opportunity to explore a subject I knew so little about with such an interesting and lovely muse. I feel that if this has helped to melt away just a little of the stigma or preconceptions society holds about being transgender then that would be a great acheivement.
Grace in her gilded frame with butterfly details. I named the portrait 'La Donna Della Grazia' meaning The Woman Of Grace as a tribute to Dante Gabriel Rossetti who was and is a constant inspiration
The exhibition is up until 9th Sept at the Cornerhouse cafe/bar Manchester