Tapestry NI / Drawing Home (2016)
My practice is heavily inspired by people, their stories, and by extension notions of identity and diversity. This was at the heart of my desire to develop a portrait of Belfast’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community, through individual portraits of the people making it what it is. I wanted to amplify unheard voices and give this community a space to speak for itself in the time and place in which it found itself. I met with a variety of people and asked them for some words close to them, and developed this into the Tapestry NI project, culminating in an exhibition in summer 2016 (as part of a wider illustration exhibition we at UsFolk had organised in association with Belfast Pride).
The process of researching, communicating with and drawing the subjects, and getting their thoughts down on paper, proved to be a really special one which would stay at the core of my illustration practice, as Tapestry opened doors to other opportunities over the past several years. These have included Drawing Home, in association with Outburst Arts - which entailed meeting with LGBTQ+ people in PS2 gallery in Belfast, drawing them and getting them to write their thoughts down on what ‘Home’ meant to them.