Nikki Nightingale & Co


From again!

This photo was on the homepage of our site in May 2003 – which can be seen on

Again, some context surrounding this photo. It started at Brighton Pride in August 2001, we finished the march and looked around Preston Park, and as it was hot we decided to sit down and have a cigarette. This photographer came along and asked if he minded taking a phot of us, we obliged, put ciggies behind our backs tried to look glamorous, then the photographer said, ‘oh no, I wanted you as you are!’ – so ciggies back in mouths and hands and the photograph was taken. he said he was going to put it in a gallery and we exchanged numbers and thought nothing more.

Nikki got a phone call a few weeks later, and we were asked to come down, needless to say, the photographer omitted the fact that he was putting on a display for an art project AND that he was an artist rather than a photographer! We were invited to his house and saw the oil painting, yes this photo, well a print, is an oil painting, but more on that later!

He was going to put this oil painting into a gallery at a local church to raise money, he asked if he minded that this was one of the centrepieces for his gallery, naturally, as our egos were being stroked we obliged! The gallery came and went and he asked if he minded if he puts it on display in one of the arches on the seafront, again, wanting it to be put on display, but this time next to an oil painting of his mum, in a glass cabinet, and invited us to go and see it.

We both agree it was a bit surreal seeing ourselves in an oil painting, in a gallery and people coming up to us and asking why we look familiar – we just pointed at the painting and said, ‘That’s us!

Originally we were going to have to pay top-notch for the painting, but because the charity was over and we were very obliging on how he used our likeness for his displays, we only had to pay for what the materials costs.

So – where is this painting now? Well…

The intention was Nikki was going to have it in her house for six months, and Co, for another 6 months. It has been hung up at Nikki’s house since October 2001, never seen the light of day at Co’s, except for the printed version…

The moral of this story is never trust a drag queen, especially the ones you work with!