Laurence Philomène says what fills her mind and soul is the color pink… but not a bright pink, like an almost peachy bubble gum shade of pink.” If you look at her photography, you’ll see the feminine touch to her work—soft but not melancholic, personal, usually very delicate, and pink.
“I like to explore childhood, illness, girlhood, and solitude,” she says, “Most of all I am obsessed with color…the way colors work together is the upmost important element for me when I take a picture - if the colors are no good then the picture is no good.” Laurence likes pastels, soft colors but not washed-out tones. “More and more I find myself having a feminist stance in my photographs, exploring gender issues but always in an esthetically pleasing way. I also love photographing boys in a "girlish" way, making them pretty and sensitive. I have no interest in masculinity as an institution.”
The young Montreal photographer is obsessed with gender identity, and is something she’s exploring more and more in her photography. She’s been studying gender theory and queer theory, “It's just fascinating to me.”
“I'm also working on a series of pink and blue still lives, it revolves a lot around a combination of candy & feminine grooming, like a 10 year-old sleepover party gone wrong.”
Laurence first picked up a camera at age 5. It was a plastic Rugrats toy film camera and it came with a matching photo album. “I took it with me on a trip to Paris with my parents around that age and took tons of pictures, I still have the little album with them inside and I look at them every now and then.” But it was the photographs she took of Japanese collectible dolls—photos of Blythe Dolls posted to Flickr which garnered some attention to her artistic eye, and which set her off on a career as a photographer.
“I just want to prove to myself that I can make a living from this, and I'm excited to have time to take more pictures, and really explore everything that's going on in my brain through photography.” Laurence will soon be graduating from college, living in Montreal, and building her career as a freelance photographer. “I'm also part of a feminist art collective with my girlfriend called ‘The Coven’, and we're trying to hold our first group show this summer, so this should be exciting as well.”
Laurence says that one of the main reasons why she takes pictures is because she’s not good at expressing herself with words, but she does identify with the words of another photographer, Wolfgang Tillmans, who said:
"As soon as you represent something, it’s always a mediated, invented situation. What is genuine, though, is the desire for authenticity. So, absurdly enough, that’s something that actually is authentic about this moment. Personally speaking, I feel somewhat post-authentic."