not going shopping charts the process of the artist Anthony Luvera working with a group of eleven people to create photographic work for Queer in Brighton, a project that celebrates the cultural heritage of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender people living in Brighton and Hove.
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After many weeks away, it was good to be back and not going shopping. However my lightness
of being was soon eclipsed by my turn on the chair facing the lens. I had
enjoyed the photo booth but in this re-creation I felt strangely unrehearsed
and beaten by the flash gun’s menacing strobe. I was in the headmaster’s office
or the inquisitor’s chair. Despite being amongst friends, it was all a bit
queer and there was no comfort zone.
The pictures themselves did nothing to make me feel any better.
My first reaction was horror at seeing my age writ large by piercing
unforgiving digital technology. There appeared to be none of the softness and
romance of the photo booth in these images. The thought of seeing my face blown
up and pasted on walls also filled me with dread. I found myself considering
withdrawing from the project rather than confront the many demons ram raiding
my brittle self-esteem. But then like a retreating wave the fear subsided as she
emerged before me.I could see my mother’s
features woven into my own, the line of her chin; the grey warmth of her eyes. Mesmerised
I revisited each picture in turn, greedy to see more of her. Tears welled in my
eyes as I channelled the ever present sense of loss with a joy at seeing her
alive in me. She died proud of me, another five letter word.