Competition Finalist – Bronac McNeill

Bronac & Mrs Moore_sCould you describe your creative process?
When I’m starting a personal project like Behind the Scenes with The Drama Queens, I like to become part of the group, like a new friend or a confidant. I learnt a long time ago that with my personality I will never be one of those photographers who go unnoticed like the proverbial ‘fly on the wall’. I try to be accepted so my subjects can relax, chat and learn to trust me. They know I will be kind with what I capture in my camera. I guess I fall in love a little with everyone I shoot. I want to show the inner beauty.

Which media do you prefer to work with and why?
I work between photography and film. I love them both but photography still has that ‘kodak moment’ thing for me. If you can capture life, expression, breath in a still, it is there forever. No one else can replicate it. I know the camera is just a vehicle, a tool – but I love the relationships, the lives and the beauty it engages.

What do you intend for the audience to take away from your works?
Drag Queen’s can be harsh, brash and forceful on stage, but behind the scenes there is a sensitivity and gentleness before the masks go on. This series is a large body of work. I’ve been following The Drama Queens since December 2012. In that time, I have developed a great respect for their dedication to their craft. I hope the audience sees a little bit of that too.

Do you have a favourite artwork and could you tell us about it?
My favourite portrait would be a painting of Mo Mowlam by John Keane in the National Portrait Gallery, as it shows her light and love for life. You can see the serious woman she was, but she still has a twinkle in her eye. She brought peace to my home country.

What do you find most challenging about being an artist?
To find another way of seeing. I shoot many people in a month and remember nearly every face but sadly rarely a name. I love taking portraits of the everyday person especially when they hate their photos being taken. I love the challenge and the look in their eyes when they see their own beauty shine back at them.

What did you most enjoy about Winter Pride UK 2014?
I was on a shoot in San Francisco during Winter Pride but I was very proud to be a part of such a diverse group of fantastically talented LGBT artists. It was great to meet them all at our Post WP exhibition on the 20 Feb.


To find out more visit


The Winter Pride Competition Finalist artworks can now be seen at Winter Pride UK: The Next Level, Office Sessions at East India Dock from the 13 February – 13 March.

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