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An Interview with Studio Medusa

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

At the beginning of 2021 we were gifted a space at SET Woolwich. We have used it as a Residency space for our members, hosting Three month long residencies. Madeleine was a recipient of the residency from August to November.

Can you tell me a bit about your work?

I am a queer photographer and visual artist who also happens to be a sex worker. I work as a glamour photographer for my colleagues (and civilians occasionally) whilst also creating documentary work around my life as a sex worker, my clients and my colleagues. My work is inherently political and aims to counter all the derogatory and male dominated depictions of sex work.

Why did you apply for the WCCD Residency?

I applied because I have never had a studio before! Growing up working class and poor, being able to make money as an artist seemed near impossible. Among other reasons, poverty is what led me into sex work which has thankfully helped me fund my artistic career. However, all my jobs and facets of my work are done from home & it becomes hard to separate my many lives when under the same roof. ADHD does not help this in the slightest! The residency allowed me to have a work space away from sex work, away from the dishes piling up and away from distractions so that I could fully commit to my artistic practise.

Tell us about what you got up to during the residency!

Firstly, I used the space as a place where I could just simply catch up on admin, emails and editing. It felt like I went to a place of work every day which put me in the best mindset to get down to work. I also booked the space next to my studio to shoot a sex worker calendar in collaboration with Sexquisite Events which was such a great day! To be able to have access to shoot space for free was such a blessing.

What will you be doing now the residency has ended?

Now my residency has ended I am back to juggling everything at home again. However, those three months of residence were undeniable in helping me plan my future projects. I'm currently preparing a documentary series around queer sex workers this month. Keep your eyes peeled!

I want to thank WCCD and Set for this opportunity because it sometimes feels like the world is out to get sex workers, so when someone gives you space and recognition it means a lot. Sex work may be legal in the UK yet so many aspects of it are still criminalised which makes the work sometimes fatally dangerous & the marginalised lower class, queer, trans, poc sex workers get the full brunt of it. Support decriminalisation of sex work to make work safe for us. Write to your local MP, sign the petitions, tip sex workers & buy our art!

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