English photographer and multidisciplinary artist Paula Rae Gibson (@paularaegibson__)creates work that allows her to find herself amidst the chaos of everyday life. After experiencing a near fatal car accident in Ecuador in her early 20s, Gibson began teaching herself analogue photography. Her work is a visual diary of her emotions and is often autobiographical. Photography allowed Gibson to find herself again after the loss of her husband. As a new mom with a toddler and now a single and grieving parent making photographs helped to center Gibson and remind her who she was.
Gibson's series Feeling It All features Anders, a non-binary dancer and ceramicist. When the two met 5 years ago Gibson was drawn to Anders and found their beauty and energy inspiring. A conversation between the two about what it feels like to be non-binary and Anders response led to the creation of this work. Gibson not only captures and explores Anders beauty and energy in Feeling It All she empowers Anders to show the viewer what their experience of being non-binary feels like. "When I realized I was non binary I found I could feel everything once more. Your head of long hair mixes with mine and I feel there is no line to tell us which side we are on. No gap to fall in between, I feel it all." Gibson photographs Anders individually and with their friends who are also dancers. Capturing Anders with friends explores how people give each other the right to exist.
A signature throughout Gibson's work including in this series is the altering of images through abrading the surface of a negative or using chemistry to create imperfections, texture, and shapes on the negative. Throughout 'Feeling It All' we see this technique used on several of the color photographs. It supports the very real and raw emotions exuded by Anders in each frame. The way in which Anders moves and poses throughout each image mirrors their passion for both dance and ceramics.
Gibson is also a musician, singer-songwriter and video artist. Her photographic work has been exhibited in group and solo shows around the world such as the Stephan Witschi Gallery, PH21 Budapest, Rayko Photo Center, Royal Academy of Arts, and The Center for Fine Art Photography. Gibson published 4 photo books between 2005 and 2016. Her work has been featured in publications such as Camera Obscura Journal, Analogue Magazine, and Brenda Magazine. She is a 2020 Julia Margaret Cameron Series Awards Winner in Women seen by Women. More about these and Gibson's other work can be found on her website and on Instagram.