Tania Olive, a lesbian photographer who just graduated from Westminster University, has won the British Journal of Photography’s (BJP) Best in Show Award for her collection Dyke of Our Time at Free Range, Britain’s largest collection of student shows.
This award being given to a lesbian for her photography of gay women is a reminder of just how few photographers and artists are examining the lesbian community. Olive’s collection of straight-on portraits of lesbians at home that offers a new look at a frequently stereotyped group will be featured in the July edition of BJP.
"I wanted to do a project that showcased the diversity of the lesbian community," Olive told BJP. "I have always found the butch and femme labels with which lesbians are associated to be antiquated. In fact, I find the idea that gender is a distinct dichotomy unrealistic. I wanted to show the fluidity of gender in the lesbian community.
"I am a huge fan of typologies and photographers influenced by the New Objectivity era such as the Bechers or Thomas Ruff," she continued. "I wanted to do a typology of lesbians, capturing a group of people at a certain time in history and giving them a voice. August Sander's work form the early 20th century on Germans is so interesting to look at in terms of style and type; his work, Face of Our Time, is where my title came from."
Check out a few of the photos from Tania Olive’s Dyke of Our Time below: