Emer Gillespie: Picture You, Picture Me
I discovered Emer Gillespie’s terrific work when jurying Critical Mass and I was happy to see that she went to have her work recognized as on of 2013 Top 50 portfolios. Picture You, Picture Me is a collaborative project with her daughter and a beautiful expression of seeing and connecting. The work also reveals an experience of motherhood, where in shepherding a child through their formative years, a mother relives moments in her own childhood, but within her control.
Emer is an Irish artist, currently living in Brighton in the UK. Graduating with an MA in Photography from the London College in Communication in 2009, her work is personal in nature, examining issues around motherhood, alternative family structures and the role that the subject and photographer play in creative collaborations. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally including She loves me, she loves me not, Encontros da Imagem, Portugal, Family Narratives, RUA RED gallery Dublin, FFWE, Photographers Gallery, London, Altered States, Foley Gallery, New York, Shifting Perspectives, OXO tower, Southbank London and The Space Between at the V&A Museum of Childhood, London. Gillespie is currently working as a photography lecturer in the UK.
Picture you, Picture me
Picture You, Picture Me is a collaborative and explorative portrait project with my daughter Laoisha. Born in Galway Ireland in 2002, Laoisha has Downs Syndrome. As a consistent subject in my work, this series has naturally evolved from her curiosity and urge to stand on the other side of the camera, taking more control over me as the subject, and of the images taken. By directing each other through role-play and instruction, we decide how the other stands, which direction to face and even facial expressions, creating a playful environment where the camera becomes more than an artistic tool, but an instrument of amusement. The images are almost secondary to the experience, a fortunate by-product of the session shared.