Lauren Graham

Twisting and bending the heteronormative template projected onto nature by popular culture, my practice explores how queerness is embodied in our landscapes. I've created a series of self-portraits in collaboration with a selection of queer creatives who are profoundly connected to nature to frame the British countryside from a queer perspective. I took the portraits in the reflections of Mylar: a highly reflective film used in hydroponic gardening. The Mylar reflects in a way that resembles liquid, making my images appear heavily distorted.

The relevance of this work comes from how pertinent homophobia is to popular culture's representation of nature.

Choosing to represent the natural world from a purely straight perspective pushes the narrative that being queer isn't natural. Changing the way we perceive nature would help shift societal homophobia and allow us to understand ourselves and our landscapes better.

Cair (to return to a place where one has been before), photograph taken in Mylar film, Leigh Woods.

Looking at the relationship between Drag and natural spaces, this image follows the subject's perspective, Celina Sherlock. Having an explorative connection to nature, creating fantasy worlds as a child. This image replicates a portal into the origin of the self.

Crottlie (covered with Lichen), photograph taken in mylar film, Abbots Pool.

Referencing the fluid identity of Lichen, this work explores the perspective of the subject, Hat Fidkin. Having realised their non-binary identity through Lichen and natural soundscapes, this work captures gender binaries and experiences of sound.

Girst (textures of nature), knitted collage.

This multimedia collage takes influence from the textures of nature and how we experience them.

Contrimont (against the hill; upwards), photograph taken in Mylar film, Blaise Castle.

Power in landscapes, this work explores the strength of connecting to your queerness through nature from the subject's perspective, Holly Stone.

Skimmer (rays of light when reflected from a liquid surface), photograph taken in Mylar film, Mawla.

Bodies of water, this work explores the fluidity of identity from the subject's perspective, Cat Faux. Capturing how your body appears distorted in a way that replicates the purest form of self in water.

Home-Going (figures returning to nature), knitted collage.

This multimedia collage takes influence from the landscapes intertwined with our identities.