As We Are is an intimate dialogue with members of Edinburgh's gender and sexual minorities, dealing with themes of visibility, (self)representation, identity and empowerment. The series combines techniques of traditional portraiture with a shifting in power from the photographer to the participants, whereupon ultimate control of the camera's shutter is relinquished to the sitters in front of the lens via a cable release. As part of the final presentation, participants also submitted handwritten statements to go alongside their portraits, to further give insight to their identities, personalities and stories.
The series is one of looking back. We are here and we are queer, taking a stand by showing ourselves as we are – vulnerable, hands open, lionhearted. The battle to end gender-based inequality is a battle to end invisibility, to be rightly recognised and unquestioned in courthouses, in the bathroom of the local library, at a son's first ballet recital, at our own wedding receptions. It is the right to be valid and accepted, and it is the right to be worthy of love. No amount of theory, philosophy or science can ever truly pinpoint what it means to be us, human, in all our gloriously nuanced and confusing ways - but neither does it have to. What matters is to be seen.
The project received the Helen A. Rose Award for Distinguished Work in 2013 and has been on exhibited as a permanent solo show at the Chalmers Centre in Edinburgh since January 2014.