Photo exhibition celebrating the drag scene in Newport

AN EXHIBITION celebrating the drag scene of Newport photographer Kim Partridge is being held downtown until Sunday, September 25.

The exhibition, at Ffoto Newport, in Market Arcade, is open Thursdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Ms Patridge specializes in taking pictures of drag and boudoir performers, and Ffoto Newport chose to feature her work because it was linked to Pride in the Port, which took place last week.

Ieuan Berry of Ffoto Newport said: “The photos were taken across the UK as Kim works with a variety of artists, some local and some further afield.

“The images feature some of the best drag performers and range from portraits to detailed shots. Much of the work was created in the studio and showcases the stunning colors some performers use.”

Ms Patridge said: “For as long as I can remember, I’ve been intrigued and at times mildly obsessed with the world of drag.

“I think the first time I met a drag queen in the wild was as a teenager, sitting on a sidewalk, maybe in Spain or Ibiza, waiting for my mom to come out of a store. . , heeled, feathered and massively furry I had no idea at this point how they did what they did, but I was into it.

“During lockdown, among a myriad of Netflix specials, selfies and Photoshop tutorials, I realized that my next personal project had to be centered around the LGBT+ community, especially the colorful characters from the world of drag.

“I wanted to go beyond the current trend of drag racing and talk to artists from Wales and the UK who had stories – who had performed in seedy bars in front of small crowds before drag become the phenomenon it is today.

“My aim was to speak and photograph performers, performers, creators and collaborators of drag performers from a variety of backgrounds and experiences who have in one way or another helped shape the UK drag scene such as we know her.

“This is an ongoing project, and these images are a selection of what I have captured so far. Ongoing blockages have slowed progress somewhat, however, things are now back in full swing booming with further filming planned in Cardiff, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.

“I am grateful to the artists who have worked with me on this project so far. For those unaware, getting into drag can take up to four hours depending on your look, so go through that so that I come to take photos in so much appreciated.

“I loved working with these artists and creating these photos. I have met and continue to meet amazing people who have some of the most interesting stories and anecdotes they were kind enough to share with me. Right now , I can’t imagine myself working on anything else.”

Michael E. Marquez