Laurence Philomène

Laurence Philomène is a young photographer based in Montreal. I am in conversation with her to explore more about her and her work, she appears with bright orange hair, blue framed glasses and sat in a magenta pink room, she is indeed alive with colour.

Colour not only surrounds her but her work also, with one of her focuses being the exploration of colour theory. One colour in particular takes center stage. Pink. Philomène details how her notion for using pink has evolved over time. “When I started using the colour I had in mind the idea to reclaim girliness and reclaim femininity, but at this point I really love the colour; I find it very calming.” All shades of pink seep into her work from the pastel toned petals on flowers, to body paint to electric pink hair dye. It is clear how comfortable and connected she is with using pink as it playfully finds its way into her compositions. She goes on to share how “pink is my comfort zone, everything looks good in front of pink. It makes everything better, so why not”

Softness is another focal point within Philomène’s work. Her series ‘tender’ and ‘moments’ are clear evidence of this depiction. Both series have a dreamlike and other worldly essence to them. The images are sensitive and quiet, echoing her own nurturing nature. A motivation of Philomène to produce such work is that she feels that “there is enough harshness and violence out there as it is… I am drawn to creating really soft imagery and creating things that are soothing which explore that.” A humbling rational further displaying Philoméne’s gentle persona.

Philomène’s began her journey with photography when she was 14 years old. Her interest with photography came about quite simply through “teenage boredom and wanting to create my little own universe.” Now at 22 years of age her photography has developed into a documentary nature. Capturing the honest moments of the people and thing which are important to her. The subjects she focuses on are her friends, queer people and trans people, depicting them through her signature colourful and quirky creative aesthetic. Philomène discusses how the results of her work are never to provoke or shock in fact, she aims for quite the opposite. She works towards portraying work which is “very calming and colourful and soothing”. Expressing how at times “a lot of people sometimes do take it as shocking because I photograph things that are sometimes seen vulnerable and I photograph people as they are”.

Philomène is still young in years and as time passes, I am sure her work will grow and change as her universe does but for now she describes her work in one simple line “I play with colour and play dress up.” Her work is a reminder to me that we should hold onto our childlike and calming nature, I look forward to seeing the work to come from her playful world.

Words by Vanessa Lewis Jones

Billy as me, 2016
Lyndsie, 2016
Self Portrait, 2012
Untitled, 2010
Ophelia, 2014