I met the Lily White Troupe in 1996 while working on a project for the National Hospice Foundation and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Joy Ufema, director of the York House Hospice where I was photographing, asked me to participate in a fund-raiser held in York, Pennsylvania. Lily White was a drag act who performed lip-synching musical extravaganzas. When I showed them the pictures of the event, they asked me to do individual portraits, at which time I paused and asked myself what new insights I could visually discover about a photographed subject. I proceeded cautiously, not wanting to tread over well-worn ground. But, after spending time with the cast members, I began to appreciate their bittersweet humor, their individuality, and their relationships with each other. They instinctively provided a narrative and dialogue with the viewer that I didn't think possible.
© 1975-2009 Jack Radcliffe. All Rights Reserved