She / Her / Hers / HerselfGallery 1
2nd Feb 2023 to 18th Mar 2023
About The Exhibition
In February 2023, Belfast Exposed presents an exhibition of new work by the socially engaged artist Anthony Luvera, She / Her / Hers / Herself.
The culmination of a five-year collaboration between Luvera and a participant named Sarah Wilson, She / Her / Hers / Herself explores one individual’s experience as they navigate their transgender identity. The work charts wide-ranging changes in Sarah’s life, as she establishes a career as a beautician, passes a series of personal milestones and lives day-to-day while learning to express her true self.
She / Her / Hers / Herself not only provides an intimate portrait of Sarah's life and experiences, it also represents the evolving expression of Sarah’s femininity set against the social construction of what it is to be female in the contemporary world.
‘At the heart of She / Her / Hers / Herself is an ongoing conversation between Sarah and me about the importance of positive representations of trans people. Individuals who identify as transgender are amongst the most marginalised and misunderstood people in our society. By collaborating with Sarah to co-create a depiction of the changes which have occurred in her life since coming out, I see this work not only as a representation of one individual’s experience of their trans femininity but as a reflection on the way cultural influences can shape and determine the expression of gender and identity more broadly.’
Anthony and Sarah first met through the making of Let Us Eat Cake - a collaborative body of work created by Luvera and a group of LGBTQ+ people from across Northern Ireland - exhibited at Belfast Exposed in 2017. After making this connection, the artist continued to collaborate with Sarah to document her ongoing experience of gender transition and the evolving expression of her femininity. Over the last five years, this has created an extensive body of work from which She / Her / Hers / Herself is drawn.
The exhibition combines photographic portraits made by Anthony in collaboration with Sarah; vernacular images made by Sarah over the past five years; a three-screen video installation; and a sculptural piece which will serve as a fully functioning nail bar from which Sarah will provide audience members with nail appointments during the course of the exhibition. Together, these various elements combine to tell a unique and personal story of Sarah’s journey over the last five years, as well as enabling Sarah to articulate her hopes for the future.
'While transgender people are increasingly visible in both popular culture and daily life, they still face severe discrimination, stigma and systemic inequality. By presenting Sarah’s story as a beautiful reflection of her journey, we will hopefully open conversations and create awareness of what this journey means’
Deirdre Robb, Director Belfast Exposed
She / Her / Hers / Herself will be on display in Gallery I from Thursday 2nd February 2023.
As part of the exhibition, Belfast Exposed is giving members of the public the opportunity to interact directly with the exhibition and book an appointment at the specially built nail bar that forms part of the show. Members of the public can book a Nail Bar slot here to have their nails done by Sarah at the specially created nail bar in Gallery I at the following dates & times:
- Wednesday 8th February 2pm - 5pm
- Thursday 9th February 2pm - 5pm
- Friday 10th February 11am - 1pm & 2pm - 5pm
- Wednesday 22nd February 2pm - 5pm
- Thursday 23rd February 11am - 1pm & 2pm - 5pm
- Friday 24th February 11am - 1pm & 2pm - 5pm
- Wednesday 8th March 2pm - 5pm
- Thursday 9th March 11am - 1pm & 2pm - 5pm
- Friday 10th March 11am - 1pm & 2pm - 5pm
Book your FREE TICKET via Eventbrite here.
Anthony Luvera (b. 1974, Western Australia) is a socially engaged artist, writer and educator based in London. The long-term, collaborative work he creates with individuals and communities has been exhibited widely in galleries, public spaces, and festivals, including Tate Liverpool, The Gallery at Foyles, the British Museum, London Underground’s Art on the Underground, National Portrait Gallery London, Belfast Exposed Photography, Australian Centre for Photography, PhotoIreland, Malmö Fotobiennal, Goa International Photography Festival, Les Rencontres D’Arles Photographie, Oslo Negative, and Landskrona Foto Festival. His writing has appeared in a range of publications including Photography and Culture, Visual Studies, Photoworks, Source, and Photographies.
Luvera is Associate Professor of Photography in the Centre for Arts, Memory and Communities at Coventry University and editor of Photography For Whom? a periodical about socially engaged photography. Anthony is Chair of the Education Committee at the Royal Photographic Society. He has designed education and mentorship programmes, facilitated workshops, and given lectures for the public education departments of the National Portrait Gallery, Tate, Magnum, Royal Academy of Arts, The Photographers’ Gallery, Photofusion, Barbican Art Gallery, and community photography projects across the UK.
Belfast Exposed is supported by the Arts Council Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council.