Year 11 student Rachel Croucher was exposed to photography from a young age thanks to her mother’s and grandmother’s interest in the medium.

“I think I first started taking photos around the age of eight with a little camcorder that I bought myself,” Rachel said. “I love photography because I can capture, and show other people, moments in my life and my unique perspective.”

Rachel got involved in the Queer Country Art Exhibition on the recommendation of her photography teacher Elise Lidgett, and says the chance to exhibit her work has been a great learning opportunity.

“The series of three photographs that I entered into the exhibition are titled ‘Violets’ and are heavily inspired by Sappho (a famous lesbian poet) and her symbolism with violets,” Rachel said. “The works explore the idea of Sapphic love as well as the hidden loves amongst young queer girls. To me, the series is a love story between the three girls pictured.”

Rachel’s work has obviously struck a chord with visitors to the Dudley House exhibition, with two of the works being sold on the opening night of the exhibition. It has given her the impetus to exhibit her work more broadly, including entry in this year’s RAW Arts Awards.

“I know photography will continue to be the way I voice my life – the way I think and see,” Rachel said.  “If I get more opportunities, I’ll keep publicly exhibiting my works, but for now, photography is simply my self-expression and how I keep stress levels down.”

Queer Country runs over three weekends at Dudley House from Friday 21 April to Sunday 7 May.