‘Stages’ is a photographic body of work that explores the complex relationship between clothing and identity. It reflects upon the ways we present ourselves to protect, hide, mask, emblazon and ingratiate ourselves socially. Each photograph acts as an abstraction of character, colour, and texture to draw open the theatrical curtains of everyday life. This series is about relinquishing and reimagining the power of clothing. The body, in its absence, refuses the conclusions that could be drawn of it visually and instead enjoys the rest of being intentionally unseen. The body respites in its ability to trick, entertain and cushion.
Using the culturally specific figure of the Mummer ‘Stages’ creates a visual ode to the queer community in abstracted performances of anonymity. Employing the familiarity of the pride flag as a political launch point, ‘Stages’ dons the individual meanings of each colour while remixing an array of donated garments to create playful figures that weave in and out of legibility.
This body of work refuses the proposed social rigidity of clothing and embraces the potential infinity of dress alongside the playfulness of everyday theatre while recognizing the absence of the body. It brings forth the question innately tied to the cultural figure of the mummer, ‘who’s that?’ and slyly re-directs it towards a social group familiar with being in the dark, shining a light on those both hidden and evident in plain sight.
‘Stages’ was made possible through funding provided by ArtsNL. Nicholas graciously thanks & acknowledges those members of the local LGBTQ+ community who donated clothing to help this project come to life.
We acknowledge the support of ArtsNL, which last year invested $2.35 million to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.