Lewes photo project in viral explosion

Emer Gillespie and Laoisha, who has Downs syndrome
Emer Gillespie and Laoisha, who has Downs syndrome

Emer Gillespie, Sussex Downs College photography lecturer from the Lewes campus, has hit the headlines recently.

She had an article in The Irish Times and a US viral explosion featuring her photography project, Picture You, Picture Me.

Her work was even featured on NBC News and today.com

The images are of 33-year-old Emer and her daughter Laoisha, who has Downs syndrome.

Commenting on the explosion of interest Emer said: “It’s surreal. It is like being inside the machine that is the media. I’m getting emails from around the world, but the ones I appreciate the most are from other parents of children with Down Syndrome.”

Emer’s interest in photographing the domestic in an unstaged, candid style began when as a graduate student at Central St Martins in London she found herself for the first time housebound with Laoisha for long periods.

The support network of friends and the help from the Brothers of Charity she had enjoyed in Galway in her native Ireland were now gone. So making the most of her situation, she decided to make “feeling stuck” in domestic life the subject of one of her first photographic series, Domestication, which focused on very small details in the home.