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Queer Journeys Through Suburbia

Last year I made a book. As often happens with a creative undertaking, it has taken some time and distance to work out how I feel about it, especially as it is formed from very personal experiences. It continues my photographic work at the periphery of the city, exploring that space just beyond the urban, but not yet rural. It also explores my own personal boundaries, made during a time of huge change in my life, you might say a midlife crisis of sorts. As a wise friend pointed out to me, according to the Oxford English Dictionary the original meaning of crisis is “a state of affairs in which a decisive change for better or worse is imminent; a turning point”. This book is me trying to make sense of that turning point; exploring what I feel about being in my fifties, being queer in my fifties, how I feel about my ageing body, how others feel about my ageing body, how I feel about how others feel about my ageing body! 


Walking (using my ageing body) is central to how I start my creative process, and I often make sense of my progress whilst out running through the same landscape, turning over ideas and reflecting on the project direction. As the title suggests, Queer Journeys Through Suburbia is a book that documents trips through the landscape of south Manchester made on foot. I have, with my camera, re-walked journeys originally made using the GPS element of queer dating apps. Seeing the mundane scenery of suburbia through what might be described as hot pink, tinted spectacles.  The journeys, messages shared in the app and my body, become entangled in the book, as I attempt to create a new reading of my suburban postcode, developing inclusive storytelling through visual tales of how the British landscape is multi-layered, and inhabited and navigated by all kinds of diverse creatures.

Link to project


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