©2017 by RAYE TRUSTY. Proudly created with


The Friends and Lovers mixed-media series represents images of love that are normally historically invisible. Based on anonymous found photographs, the small paintings depict same-sex female couples from different historical time periods. The titles in the series allude to captions normally written on family photographs and ambiguously address the relationship between the two women shown. This is purposeful as historically same-sex relationships are ignored or relabeled by family or friends to avoid direct acknowledgement. Representation of diversity is vital to our understanding of the world and in creating empathy. Lesbian artists have traditionally avoided representation of the lesbian body or of lesbian love to avoid issues with male gaze, homophobia, or associations to pornography. The Friends and Lovers series seeks to show relationships in a tender and natural way, leaving room for the viewer to understand the relationship presented in on their own terms.