Grace Lawson

Georgia, USA | Medium

Artist Statement

Grace Lawson is a queer, lens-based artist from Houston, TX. They are both a visual and performing artist, with a previous six years of experience as a professional performer that continues to heavily influence their photographic work. As they grew comfortable in their identity as a lesbian, Lawson began to invest themself in research of the queer community and found comfort in the artwork created by others who identified similarly. Their current body of work is a photographic exploration of the feminine queer experience as it can be traced through the eyes of self-identifying sapphics throughout art history. 

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Artist Statement Cont’d

Every image is composed of a single self portrait that is then layered with queer themes, whether they be from the historic archives of artwork or various forms of queer symbols present within the images. This allows the image to act as a means to explore the interactions between past and present. By utilizing the performative aspect of self portraits, Lawson is able to create an intimate relationship between subject and lens that allows their body to become a tool that is just as important to the intention of their art as the camera. The use of layering through both collage and montage creates a physicality within the work that highlights the project as a labor of love for their identity and its history. Through the use of handmade collages, they embed historic artwork into my their skin, half covering them and half taking away pieces of themself. Both the self portrait and the archival artworks become inseparable within the context of the collages. The history becomes intrinsically locked into the body of a young queer person, woven between, behind, and on top of cut pieces from the portrait used as the base for the image. Both the self portrait and the archival work become inseparable within the context of the work. The resulting images become representative of a symbiotic relationship, showing how as they are influenced by the artists and artwork that came before me, it also becomes their duty to carry that legacy forward. Lawson received their BFA in Photography / Digital Media from the University of Houston. They are currently an MFA candidate at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA, where they are expected to have their first solo exhibition in May of 2024.