‘All That Glitters’ is an exhibition of work from Blackpool alumni and multi award winning professional photographer Richard Weston that explores the lives and individual stories behind the glitz and glamour of professional drag artists.
It’s a deeply personal project for Richard whose image “Portrait of My Son”, capturing a moment of connection between him and his son, Samuel, dressed as his alter ego “Candy Fierce” won the coveted National Open Art competition in 2016.
Working closely with the performers Richard set out to capture the backstage transformation of these ordinary young men to their on-stage drag queen divas.
The experience of working with the performers so engaged Richard it saw him undergo his own metamorphosis, to create his own drag artist persona “Sugar Fury” at the skilled hands of son, Samuel. Preparation took three hours and gave Richard an insight into the demanding levels of professionalism and hard work of the artists. This image, entitled ‘Between Two Worlds’ went onto win the Greater Manchester Arts Prize in 2018.
Commenting on the results of the intricate make up “To see this stranger looking back at me, and trying to reconcile the image with the me inside, made me think deeply about how we see ourselves and how we judge - and in turn are judged - on our appearance and looks”
‘All That Glitters’ is still a work in progress and Richard is looking to expand the exhibition further to include new imagery and video interviews of the artists. If you are professional drag artist and would like to be involved please get in touch.
On until 20th December.