Drew Tosh talks to photographic artist Precinct Seager Galvez-Soto
Before Pride kicks off, the organisation offers a host of pre-weekend events. Under the umbrella title “Superbia”, one of the most intriguing is photography exhibition “Dear Mum”, an intimate series of portraits and accompanying letters Precinct Seager Galvez-Soto has written to his mother. The images and words represent many significant and often troubled periods of the artist's life.
Are you nervous about putting such deeply personal parts of your life on display?
Very much so. For the first time, friends will learn a lot more about me than they'd previously been aware of. Some know different percentages of my life struggles but very few know the whole story. After the exhibition everyone will know at least 80% of what I've been through and that's scary but I want to do it in order to move forward, not just with my pictures but with my life I guess. I like what Carrie Fisher once said, 'turn your broken heart into art'.
Why did you decide now was the time to artistically offload?
I've wanted to do this for a long time but in a positive way and it's only recently that I've felt in the right headspace to do it. Although some of the work featured is challenging, it feels like a weight has being lifted off my shoulders. I also really like the idea that the exhibition might start a dialogue between people about some of the issues raised, particularly people who've gone through tough times of their own. We dont talk about things enough, especially the most painful of experiences. I would love it if even one person felt more comfortable about sharing their stories as a result of reading about mine.
Was it important that the exhibition and launch took place on Canal Street?
Absolutely. Canal Street has been my home since I was fifteen. I'm 39 this year so you do the maths! It's always been there for me and I'm proud and happy there. I'm genuinely thrilled that my event is going to take place at two venues on Canal Street and very grateful to Oscars for hosting the launch and the LGBT Foundation for housing the exhibition itself.
Tell me about some of the models...
The poster boy is Joan Montesinos. He's a good friend of mine who just wanted to help. He always turns up when I need him and he inspires me creatively with his own work as a videographer and director. Another of the models - Stacey - used to be my manager in a previous job and we've remained good mates ever since.
This is a photo documentary about your life. Would you like to continue this type of photography project featuring other people and their histories?
I really would. “Dear Mum” has made me realise what type of photographer I want to be - a documentary artist, if such a thing exists. I've also got lots of ideas for other projects, one before the end of the year and another for next year so watch this space!
How does it feel when you finish a picture to your satisfaction? Do you use a lot of manipulation in the end result?
With some I do. Usually they just cry out to me to have something added. When I get a photo exactly how I want it I get a real buzz and it makes me want to get out there and keep on trying to improve. The biggest thing for me is when someone tells me that they enjoy one of my pictures and that it makes them feel something. That makes me feel really happy and that I've achieved something.
Do you see this exhibition as the end of a chapter in your life?
Most definitely. I'm opening up about a lot of things I've kept inside since I was seven and so it feels like some kind of closure. I'm extremely excited about the next chapter and what lies ahead.
“Dear Mum”, runs from 18 to 24 August at the LGBT Foundation, 5 Richmond Street.
A preview and Q&A with Galvez-Soto is on 14 August at Oscars Bar, 34 Canal St.
Tickets are free but must be obtained in advance via the link below
By Drew Tosh for Canal St OnlineRead More