The Drag scene is constantly evolving and within the intimate group I have had the pleasure of spending time with, they each have a range of original and innovative ideas. Often making their own garments and creating their own look is extremely inventive and is form of art in itself.
Drag is so much more than what observers perceive as “dressing up” It’s also about expression and escapism. When in drag, such ‘weak’ traits become extravagantly, flagrantly fabulous. Former vulnerabilities become sublimated into something glittery and glowing, as the utmost influential Drag Queen I know, Cheddar Gawjus pronounced “I have begun to think of drag as more of a hyper realised metaphor for the forms of presentation people are all the time engaged in. It is a form of creative becoming that forces me to be connected to everyone around me. I like it and it makes me feel powerful.”
Breaking down the drag wall I found great difficulty in, as it is something that is personal to them and I was often given negative responses. After photographing the Drag Queens transformation behind the scenes, I wanted to understand the process and perception of what it felt like to be them. I felt the only way to comprehend this, was to become a Drag Queen.
Over the space of twelve weeks, I had each Queen transform me into several of their individual personas using the power of make-up and façade. I wanted to create a body of photographic work that explores the creativity and talent of Drag Queens.
I created a series of images in the studio where I have turned the camera on myself, I sought to discover not only about identity but the nature of representation. Due to the interesting aspect to the work, I am a biological woman dressing as a man who is dressing as a woman.
Developing this concept I spent time out of the studio with the Queens; going out in drag which has supported the understanding of gender expectations and the social understanding of gender difference.