She / Her / Hers / Herself

Research output: Practice-Based and Non-textual ResearchArtefact


She / Her / Hers / Herself (SHHHS) is a practice research project employing socially engaged methods to co-create a representation of the lived experience of gender transition. Co-created with a trans-woman living in Northern Ireland, Sarah Wilson, SHHHS was commissioned by Belfast Exposed, premiering at the Belfast Exposed gallery (02/02/23 – 18/03/23), with a preview of the research in the Northern Ireland Parliament Buildings at Stormont (10/10/18 – 19/10/18). The exhibition at Belfast Exposed received the largest audience figures in its 35-year history, and was featured in esteemed publications including Vogue, Source, Visual Artist Ireland Newsheet, Irish News, and British Journal of Photography.

Anthony and Sarah first met through the making of Let Us Eat Cake - a collaborative body of work created by Luvera and LGBTQ+ people from across Northern Ireland - exhibited at Belfast Exposed in 2017. During this time, Sarah began to accept her own trans identity. When Let Us Eat Cake culminated with an exhibition (11/11/17 – 20/12/17) and publication, she and Luvera continued to work together to document her experience of gender transition. This collaboration evolved to form the basis of SHHHS, combining several approaches to telling Sarah’s story, including vernacular photographs created by Sarah; portraits co-created by Anthony and Sarah; a three-screen video piece; and a sculpture which serves as a nail bar for audience members to receive manicures by Sarah.

SHHHS charts wide-ranging changes in Sarah’s life as she establishes a career as a beautician, passes various personal milestones, and lives day-to-day while learning to express her true self. SHHHS is a portrait not only of Sarah’s experience of gender transition, the work also represents the evolving expression of Sarah’s femininity set against the social construction of what it is to be female in the contemporary world. The research also addresses and highlights key issues faced by transgender people on a daily basis relating to health and community cohesion which are largely under-represented and misunderstood.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023
EventShe / Her / Hers / Herself - Belfast Exposed Photography, Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Feb 202318 Mar 2023


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