Arts·COVID Residencies

Laurence Philomene's daily photos on life as a transgender artist take on new resonance in quarantine

For the photographer, isolation has brought the details of daily life into sharp focus.

For the photographer, isolation has brought the details of daily life into sharp focus

Laurence Philomene's daily photos on life as a transgender artist take on new resonance in quarantine

CBC Arts

10 months agoVideo
3:54
For photographer Laurence Philomene, isolation brings the details of daily life into sharp focus in their series "Puberty". 3:54

In our self-shot video series COVID Residencies, we're checking out how artists are adapting their practices in isolation, whether it's diving into different processes or getting lost in their sketchbooks.

When we made a video about Montreal-based artist Laurence Philomene a while back, we were concentrating on their portraits of non-binary people, centred against vivid backdrops.

Now, Philomene can't do in-person shoots anymore — the non-binary transgender artist is cloistered at home with their partner and roommate (we could write a whole piece about the pros and cons of being isolated together vs. being isolated alone). So Philomene has turned their attention on a project they'd begun before Covid: Puberty, their series highlighting the daily ephemera of being a transgender person on HRT (or hormone replacement therapy) who also has a chronic illness.

(Laurence Philomene)

By taking the photographs in "Puberty," Philomene also draws a portrait of self-care — something particularly important in the current moment. In this self-shot video, they explain why this project is resonating with them right now, and what it means to bring you the mundane and beautiful moments of the every day.

Follow Laurence Philomene here and keep a lookout for the stories we're bringing you from other artists in isolation as part of COVID Residencies. Stay safe, friends!

(Laurence Philomene)

CBC Arts understands that this is an incredibly difficult time for artists and arts organizations across this country. We will do our best to provide valuable information, share inspiring stories of communities rising up and make us all feel as (virtually) connected as possible as we get through this together. If there's something you think we should be talking about, let us know by emailing us at cbcarts@cbc.ca. See more of our COVID-related coverage here.

About the Author

Lise Hosein is a producer at CBC Arts. Before that, she was an arts reporter at JazzFM 91, an interview producer at George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight and a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. When she's not at her CBC Arts desk she's sometimes an art history instructor and is always quite terrified of bees.

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