Zoé Lawrence photographs girlhood

Photographer Zoé Lawrence was born in Pembroke Pines, Florida and grew up between Jamaica and Florida. Zoé’s practice is focused on the intersection of race and gender in space. With her work, she wishes to ignite change in relation to substanceless narratives that shrink the black femme experience to stereotypical thought. Her portraits of women of colour are romantic with soft pastel tones. A breath of fresh air in its depiction of girlhood. Speaking to giving visibility to women of colour Zoé expresses, “Accurate and beautiful films like Selma and Daughters of The Dust get created when you allow marginalized voices to speak their truth.”

Her journey began quite organically, like that of many photographers, Zoé began capturing photographic images as a means of documenting her life. She tells i-D “…mainly because I never wanted to forget my journey, both the “good” and “bad” — and now it’s something that pushes me to take photos.”

Inspiration lends itself through her friendships which are instinctively translated onto her photographic sensor. Motivated by emotion, Zoé’s photographic output often comes from feeling overwhelmed or upset–here she uses her creativity as a means of therapy.

The project TBH (To be Honest) narrows in on Millennial/Generation Z creatives and the work they create in the age of internet influence. The series is focused on artistic practitioners in the frame of the Caribbean diaspora and creates space for these artists to share their personal experiences of living in South Florida while being rooted in Afro-Caribbean culture. “We wanted the work to portray Florida lifestyle in a raw and honest way — hence the name To Be Honest. The funny thing about South Florida is no one is really ever just ‘American’. Even if you were born in the States, your parents are probably immigrants.”

Sensitivity. A staged honesty–staged yet real. The emotion is real. Soft. Playful pastel tones. Natural lighting delicately illuminates half a face. Other depictions are more gritty with colour mimicking coming into play–yellow on yellow.

Follow Zoé Lawrence on Instagram.

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