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Vee Speers: Metamorphosis – a retrospective exhibition

July 29, 2022 @ 8:00 am - September 11, 2022 @ 5:00 pm

Metamorphosis follows the evolution of Speers’ work over two decades. Her carefully put-together and stylised images touch on themes of identity that are both universal and extremely personal: childhood innocence, physical growth, and emotional awakening. Her subjects, depicted at different stages of life, don guises and props that evoke a fantastical existence, and hint at the tension between reality and performance.

Bringing together five bodies of work, the exhibition includes a range of images from Speers’ trilogy of portraits, taken between 2007 and 2017. Beginning with The Birthday Party (2007), Speers hosts an imagined celebration, in which young children singularly, dressed in costume, confront the camera. A muted palette of greys and whites invert expectations of a children’s party, resulting in a peculiar, almost apocalyptic encounter. This continues six years later in Bulletproof (2013), where Speers revisits each of these children, making a new set of portraits that find them in the midst of a fantastical adolescence. Dystopia (2017) completes the trilogy in which the same subjects emerge as strong-willed heroes.

Transformation is also central to Speers’ most recent body of work, Phoenix (2020). The women depicted in these portraits are steadfast in the face of life’s obstacles, emerge confidently to tackle new beginnings. The flowers in Botanica (2016) are equally transformed. Photographed in black and white and then subtly coloured by Speers, the result is a slightly surreal naturalism, which runs through the whole of her work.

Limited edition prints are available from €800 + VAT. 


July 29, 2022 @ 8:00 am
September 11, 2022 @ 5:00 pm
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The Photographers’ Gallery
16-18 Ramillies St
London, W1F 7LW United Kingdom
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