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’Sour-Puss: The Opera’ tells the sometimes fictional, sometimes emotionally biographical story of a woman grappling with her own sexuality and sense of self, created over a period of four years. Consisting of photographs and drawings, the project was born out of the unlikely friendship between the two collaborators - artists Diogo Duarte (33) and Jessica Mitchell (55). The ’Sour-Puss’ is a character based on real-life Jessica and real-life Diogo, resulting in a composite of both collaborators’ life experiences.

With its nihilistic undertones, a sour looking woman seems to be consumed within her own private rituals and absorbed in contemplation of her own body, so much so that sometimes it’s as though she fails to imagine anything exists beyond herself. In the series, ‘Sour-Puss’ borrows Jessica’s body and face to take us on a literal and metaphorical journey that is fundamentally marked by shaming, isolation, staining and an absurdist search for meaning and connection.

The photographs and the drawings remind us of the escapist journey we imagine a closeted lesbian might make, in desperate pursuit to break free from the quotidian, the ‘normal’, the expected, so that she can at last catch a glimpse of who she might really be.

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