Side Gallery: THE 81 BEES
Originally from England, Grahame Perry immigrated to the US with his family in 1969. He attended UC Berkeley and graduated in 1983 with a degree in Psychology. He spent much of his working life in IT, before retiring in his 40’s. Once retired he studied photography at CCSF, volunteered at Project Inform for 10+ years, and more recently became a pivotal member of the 81 Bees Photography Collective.
Much like Grahame Perry’s life, his photography was substantial and covered a wide range. From alternative process to extensive digital collage work, Grahame explored a variety of techniques using photography as a means of self expression.Outside of photography, Grahame was a lover of dance and a huge activist for the LGBTQ community. His images mirrored his life, particularly in his most recent body of work which centered around being a long term HIV survivor. In Am I Blue and Materials of Survival, Grahame explored themes of illness, death, time, and scale. He incorporated unique materials into his work, transforming images of the AIDS quilt and every AIDS obituary that was published in the Bay Area Reporter into memorable pieces of art.
In addition to his long term survivor project, Grahame frequently shot Verasphere, a lively SF Drag group whose elaborate costumes are made from recycled materials. He loved to shoot panoramics, and compiled an extensive night photography series. An activist until the end, his last body of work consisted of documenting unique local San Francisco businesses and iconic buildings that he felt were disappearing due to gentrification and changes in the local economy.
On December 21, 2015, Grahame Perry passed away in his home. He was fifty-six years old. Grahame’s passing was a great loss to his extensive community of friends and family. Tribute is an 81 Bees show honoring the life and work of Grahame. It is our way of thanking him for all of the inspiration, support, and passion he gave to our photo community throughout the years. All of the proceeds from this show will be used towards a scholarship for an LGBTQ student to attend photography classes and a donation to the SF AIDS Foundation.