Emer Gillespie is a photographer from the UK, who for the last 5 years has been working on a project with her down syndrome daughter Laoisha. The project has gained critical acclaim and has started exhibiting around the UK.
Picture you, Picture me is a collaborative and explorative portrait project with my daughter Laoisha. Naturally evolving from my daughter’s curiosity and urge to stand on the other side of the camera, she has taken more and more control of the camera and of me. Directing each other through role-play and instructions, we decide how the other stands, which direction to face and even facial expressions. These are playful interactions where the camera becomes an instrument of amusement and our photo shoots become play sessions.
Starting in 2008, this project is still ongoing, and we are still shooting together to this day. The project and image content will evolve naturally in relation to Laoishas ability to control the camera and the development of her visual language and will continue on until she no longer wants me in the picture.Exploring topics such as child autonomy and the relationship between subject and photographer it allows the viewer a personal view into this mother/ daughter relationship.
Photography, by its nature as a visual medium, only shows the surface of what are complex relationships and subjective realities. There is a desire to examine and document subtle relationships in contemporary, re-envisioned family life. As a participant-observer, these images are my own examination of appearance and existence, perception and thought through the visual exploration of my modern family.
Visit Emer’s Official Site