'Closet' is the first part of a collaborative project that aims to explore the expression of concepts, feelings, and personality through fashion, specifically for active members of the LGBTQ+ community in Birmingham. The project focuses on how clothing can help shape an individual's identity and explores the idea of "coming out of the closet" on a literal level. Through researching in the photographic areas of fashion and participatory art, artist Razvan Popa was inspired by artists such as Lee-Ann Olwage, Genevieve Gaignard, and Gregory Halpern, which influenced his concept development and photographic techniques.
The methodology involved a networking process to invite participants to join the project. Before the shooting session, a workshop was conducted to provide guidance on camera usage, remote shutter release, and posing. During the shooting process, both the participant and Razvan worked together to find a good composition for the photograph. Razvan's assistance included guidance on framing and posing, and the participant would take around 25 to 30 self-portraits. After the shooting session, a dialogue and interview were conducted, and the participant would sign and complete the consent form.
The final result of the project is a public A4 zine that encapsulates the body of work formed by the images taken during the photographic sessions, fragments of interviews, and the name and age of the participants. The audience of the project includes both outsiders and insiders of the LGBTQ+ community. The desired outcome is to empower and give voice to the members of the LGBTQ+ community in Birmingham, creating an offline and online document that is easily accessible to viewers. The project aims to represent the LGBTQ+ community in a positive light and provide visibility to individuals who might not have had a chance to showcase their identity and personality through fashion.