Wednesday 2 February 18:00 - 21:00

Bermondsey Project Space
185 Bermondsey Street



Performing & Visual Arts

Join us for the private view of PEOPLE, PLACE, TAKE UP SPACE at Bermondsey Project Space

PEOPLE, PLACE, TAKE UP SPACE is a solo exhibition by non-binary, Macanese born, photographer Cherry Au Hon I. Presented as part of LGBTQIA+ History Month at Bermondsey Project Space.

The exhibition includes 100 intimate portraits of queer people from across Europe and Asia, photographed in their own environments - be that a houseboat on London’s canals, a caravan in Berlin, or a vintage shop in Taipei.

For many LGBTQIA+ people, finding a space where they can be their authentic selves is a challenge, this could be impacted by the country they live in, societies’ influences, or their cultural backgrounds. This exhibition weaves together a map of international experience and celebrates the resourcefulness of queer individuals in building for themselves a space in which they belong.

The exhibition presents Au’s documentary practice from the past six years and brings together their series focusing on different parts of the queer community. This includes ‘DYKE’, a collection of portraits and interviews from self-identifying dykes exploring the many interpretations of this term. As well as ‘Queeroes of London’, which showcases London’s LGBTQIA+ community through the generations, as a way of preserving queer history.

A constancy that defines Au’s photographic style is the sitters’ defiance to the camera as if daring the viewer to look. These images on their own are an intimate, almost voyeuristic glimpse at an individual’s private life, but when presented together in PEOPLE, PLACE, TAKE UP SPACE the viewer is confronted with the power and vibrancy of the queer community.

Au began this project in 2015 as a way of counteracting how isolating London can often feel. Photography became a tool for forging new connections and discovering community, as well as recording life stories and archiving queer histories. Au started casting people they met in the street, at queer spaces such as Dalston Superstore and Heaven, and through dating apps like HER and Grindr. Au interviewed each sitter to gain an insight into their individual experience of queerness.

The resulting photographs are both deeply personal and contextually rich. This project has continued to expand, now including images of 100+ queer people from across the globe of different ages, races and backgrounds, from accountants and drag kings, to tattoo artists and nurses, they are all united in their desire for representation and confidence in showing the world how they exist within it.


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