Fife celebrates LGBT+ History Month with an exhibition from inspiring young Fifers

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Flavours of Fife, Madras Pride and photographer Jannica Honey have created a photographic exhibition from the perspective of LGBTQ+ youth in the region

To mark LGBT+ History Month, a group of young photographers are exhibiting their work in Kirkcaldy and St Andrews to celebrate the theme CATALYST: 50 years of activism.

The group of budding young photographers came together through an initiative organised by visual art and craft organisation Fife Contemporary and involved two LGBT+ groups: Kirkcaldy's Flavours of Fife and Madras School's Madras Pride. The aim was to create a high-quality portrait exhibition that showcased the perspective of today's young LGBT+ Fifers which would allow current and future viewers to be inspired by them.

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As part of the project, they were coached by Swedish-born professional artist and photographer Jannica Honey, who has photographed the likes of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and music powerhouses like The Killers and Young Fathers. Her most recent work When The Blackbird Sings portrayed women in natural settings and underpinned her consistent technique of building a strong connection with participants who are not accustomed to being photographed.

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The project worked by introducing members of the two groups to basic principles of photography and encouraged experimentation with backgrounds, lighting, props and poses. They were also asked to consider how photographs influence how we relate to people, and to explore identity through images. Jannica's teachings endeavoured to show participants that although the practical essentials of photography (shutter speed, ISO, aperture) are important, there is also a need to go deeper into the subject.

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Jannica explains, 'I was very keen to work on this project because I have extensive insights into how important photography is for identity and for creating positive and empowering representation. I focused mainly on bringing awareness into the work we created – how do we see our world and oneself? How do we project oneself and communicate that through photography?'

One of the participants, Cameron Bowie aged 17, said: 'Being able to express ourselves with the use of photography and present this work allows us to convey our view of not only the world around us, but our community from our perspective. This project has enabled us to show our pride and shows that while we may be part of the LGBT+ community, we are no different from anyone else. I was mainly a photographer photographing my friends and trying to convey the human element of the LGBT+ community. We are just people living life as who we truly are and being happy while doing so.'

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Jannica believes that by the end of the project the young participants had nailed her teachings and proved that photography is not just about aiming a camera. 'It's about telling a story through images, a story that can travel faster than the wind these days.' She continues: 'When I left the two groups we spoke the same language. Mindfulness and presence underlined the communication between us.'

The exhibition will be displayed during LGBT+ History Month at Kangus Coffee House in Kirkcaldy (Sat 9–Fri 1 Mar) and at St Andrews Town Hall (Fri 8–Wed 20 Feb). It will also be shown during Fife Pride in early July at Kirkcaldy Galleries and available as a digital version on the Fife Contemporary website.

Fife Portraits for LGBT+ History Month

Photography exhibition by Kirkaldy’s Flavours of Fife and Madras School’s Madras Pride as part of an initiative by Fife Contemporary. It shows the perspective of today’s young LGBTQ+ Fifers and allows current and future viewers to be inspired by them.

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