Marlo W
Portraits of Older Transgender and Gender Diverse People

17.05.2024 - 09.06.2024

Exhibition opening: Friday 17th May, 2024, 6pm

Hillvale Gallery is humbled to present the work of Naarm based photographer and artist Marlo W which will coincide with the launch of their solo publication of the same title.

Buy Foreground here.
Or instore at Hillvale Photo

Foreground is a celebration of a group of people who are often overlooked. Sharing the stories of older transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people is integral to demythologising transgender people to the broader community.

“I often think about my older self. Who will be with me when I am older? Will I be living in an aged care home? Will I be living with a lover as we take care of each other? Will I be living with friends? Wherever I end up, I want to be safe and know that the people around me are empathetic and understanding of me as a person, and of my transness.

“There is a severe lack of representation of older transgender and gender diverse (TGD) individuals in the media. As a result, their intimate lives — their thoughts, passions, interests, hopes, struggles, regrets — become something of a mystery. It is important for people to see themselves reflected in society. It is how we experience belonging. As a young transgender person, where will I belong if I do not see mysel reflected in my elders?

“These thoughts led me to search for older TGD people in Naarm. It was a lengthy process finding older TGD people to photograph and interview. I relied on community centres, online networks and organisations such as Switchboard Victoria, to connect me with people. I am so grateful to have met the people involved in this series. Their life stories and insights about the world deserve to be heard, seen and validated. I acknowledge this series represents only a small portion of the many TGD people living and gone, and is by no means a direct portrayal of the myriad ways older TGD people live.

“There is a need to platform the voices of older TGD people who have long been marginalised and portrayed negatively by society and in mainstream media. It has been a pleasure taking these portraits and getting to know the older TGD people included in this series. Through this project I wish to bridge generations through mutual understanding, guidance and respect.” — Marlo W

Marlo W is a photographer based in Naarm/Melbourne. Their work engages with queering ideas surrounding embodiment, gender and identity. Through in-camera editing methods, such as distortion and blur, the artist plays with the tropes of photography to re-shape and challenge the nature of perception. By reimagining the body through photography, Marlo navigates their own transness and embodiment. An integral part of their photography is connecting with other queer, transgender and gender diverse people as a means to continually challenge transphobia and gender norms.

Image: Marlo, W, Foreground, Marie (cropped), 2023, archival pigment print, 1/1.