© Laurence Philomène, Puberty, 2019–2021
Virtual installation, variable dimensions

Laurence Philomène is a non-binary artist from Montréal. Their practice celebrates trans existence and studies identity as a space in constant flux. Informed by their own lived experiences as a chronically ill, non-binary transgender artist coming of age amid the rise of social media, the images centre on queer and trans experiences. Through a process of mutual [and self-] care, the photographs humanize identities that have been historically marginalized, and act as a love letter to the artist’s community.

Puberty is an ongoing, colourful autobiographical self-portrait project that looks at the intimate and vital process of caring for oneself as a non-binary transgender person undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The project celebrates transition as a space for exploration without a fixed end goal. The artist’s selection of images and writings resembles a public diary without the voyeuristic sense of access to the artist. Instead, the artist stares back at the camera, challenges the viewer and shows an internal strength through struggle, rather than painful existence. The intimate nature of the images suggests a display of moments that comfort and surround the artist through their own growth. The result may leave the viewer with the question: What comforts you?