@portraitprojection - The Art of Being Queer - Artist Feature

Tonights fabulous queer artist feature is @portraitprojection

I am Tom Dingley, born and still living in London. I studied photography at A-Level and higher education.

I believe strongly that your current situation in life reflects in your work, when I first graduated I was still in the closet, shy, but happy. Living in London I took inspiration from the area around me and continued self initiated projects called “Greens of Greenwich,” and “The Infamous City.” Working on these, exhibiting and selling prints I gained confidence and experience. Growing in confidence in my personal life too, having came out and in a relationship, everything was running smoothly.

I could see that being shy about my sexuality held me back so I wanted to start work on a new series – and tackle portraiture at the same time – I started ‘Outcome.’ A portrait project focusing on LGBTQ+ people as they are now, out adults, representing something from their daily life; while holding their own childhood photograph. Giving a sense of “it gets better,” showing that you grow up, come out and live your life.  

The project did very well.  But after several photo shoots, a crowdfund, book publication and touring exhibition; I wanted to start creating something new -with a hint of colour, mystery, sex. Now I was a grown up, out adult myself, why not celebrate the things I like – art, men and creativity.

Projection was something I did back in college and remember it being quite striking, so I gave it a go. My first shoot was a success; many positive comments on the final images lead me down a path of photographing males with projected images on them. The theme for each shoot comes from talking to the models about their likes/interests, to make the photo artwork a collaboration.  

Something they would enjoy and use for their own portfolios that represented them, while giving me the creative addition to a portrait shoot.  You can see from the range of work, my photo shoots are all very different, yet still keeping that sense of my Portrait+Projection series.  From projecting tongue in cheek lips, to cherubs, lightning strikes, coloured circles and neon signs – there seems to be endless possibilities.  

I am hoping to use some of these portraits to curate an exhibition or prints and projections.  I am based in Greenwich, South East London.

Instagram: @portraitprojection  and  @tomdingleyphoto

Facebook: Tom Dingley Photography

Twitter: @tomdingleyphoto

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