E17 Artist in the Spotlight: Rosalind Stephens

Originally from York, photographer Rosalind Stephens has lived in London on and off since 2000, and in Walthamstow since 2016. Despite being “a bit of a country girl at heart”, she loves living in E17 and very much feels part of the community. 

Rosalind will be shooting live in Creative Works on 10 July for her Queers in the Forest photography project, as part of the E17 Art Trail. Come and check it out!

Rosalind (Roz) Stephens believes in the art of storytelling through photography.

“I started Queers in the Forest after experiencing homophobia here in Walthamstow: the only way I knew how to combat it was through my photography.”

“I applied for some funding and received it—not enough to pay me or the people who come and sit for me, but enough to cover commercial costs like frames.” 

“The callout is for anyone who identifies as queer, and the goal is to challenge stereotypes of what queer looks like, promote safe environments for queer people and open up conversations,” Roz explains. 

As well as exhibiting the project in the Winns Gallery at the end of this year or in 2022, she’s hoping to run a “mini festival” around it, with talks and events.

“Following that, I’d like to take the project to Queers in the Capital, then Queers in the Country—and maybe even travel abroad with it!”

An outtake of Milly Harding that demonstrates the sense of fun Roz brings to her shoots.
© Rosalind Stephens

Rosalind began photographing for Queers in the Forest a while ago, but everything inevitably got pushed back due to Covid. 

Now that social distancing measures have eased she’s almost finished, and has had some exciting things happen along the way, including being accepted onto a mentorship scheme with someone who’s known within the art gallery industry. 

“She’s going to mentor me on how to fit images together well, how to pick images that work, how to talk to galleries and what the ins and outs of that side of things are.”

Soon, Rosalind’s Queers in the Forest project could reach an even wider audience. 

She’s currently in talks with the British Library about the collection being displayed in the foyer. Queer Britain are interested in displaying it permanently after it’s been on tour. 

“I’m also in talks with MVP who specialise in light installations against buildings, so it might even be projected across buildings in Leicester. 

“It might also be put in the actual forest—I’m in talks with OrganicLea about using their back space, which is in the forest, to create a huge installation with lights and sound.

“It’s very much a passion project that’s building up a life of its own at this point! 

“I’m thinking about starting a podcast too, because it’s not just about the image; it’s about the person, who they are and what their journey has been.”

Rosalind will have some time to chat to people on Saturday in between shoots. 

She may also have a print or two to sell! Speaking of which, do head over to her website to see her amazing work (Red Peonies is one of our personal faves).


7 Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow E17 6DS