Last year I was asked to be part of something special. A group of around 19 established and emerging artists – gay and lesbian supporters set to work in collaboration with London Pride to create an art exhibition that showcases individual perceptions on what makes them, “them”. Many meetings over the next few months leading to the June/July show for Pride week 2016 kept us busy while balancing work life. A lot of own time had to go into this especially getting sponsers and generating interest early enough. Working in partnership with Pride in London, Diversity role models, NHCAW campaign we celebrated and challenged the right to be different.
2 months before the show we finally had everything in place. Getting people in the same room at any one time can be difficult especially when one has to balance work, social and/or family life. So with that I only met 6 of the 19 artists. It was only when we had to hand in our work did I meet all of the other artists. Set up was one of my favourite parts. Curating the exhibition so there was equal coverage as well as keeping to flow proved easy enough. The exhibition was held at the Espachio Gallery, Bethnal Green from the 21st June – 03 July.
I had to add d-rings onto my frames as each gallery has their own hanging technique. But I was very happy with my walls. Another part of the exhibition was a donation piece. Each artist submitted a donation piece for the silent auction. A spectator can view the piece and pick their favourite and simply write down how much they wanted to donate. On Average most of the donations were £70+ and this was given to our selected charity within the LGBT community.
Here was my artist statement:
Humans are able to consider metaphysical notions of morality, beauty and love while at the same time creating constructs of prejudice and discrimination; all other species are true to their nature. With the precious fragility of our lives we should celebrate those that are true to theirs.
With a burgeoning interest in anatomy, fascinated by the biological architecture, I have explored a shared truth. The elegant honesty of nature and the brutal twist of humanity.
The gruff linoprints are juxtaposed with softer watercolours, their saturated colours of inward beauty on a usually grim motif.
This reflects my work I submitted. I painted two opposing motifs. One with water colours and the other with print. I love lion-printing. The whole process of carving is very relaxing and I hope to invest in some tools that will mean I can carve some wood.
This is the first three. I found the bones in wales while out walking. A jaw, a vertebra and a tibia. They were painted with water colours and opposed the harsh print ink with the other 3.
The image above is one of the prints. It always reminds me of meat but the whole idea of this piece was purely that anatomically we are all the same. It is only thought, actions and belief that makes us different. We all have a beating heart, we all have the frame that makes us people, it is how we act in life that make us human and part of that is allowing oneself to feel contempt with difference. Whether you choose to love someone of the same sex or you choose to believe in God, we should accept that we are all the same in anatomical matters so we really are no different to each other.
The top one titled ‘Skull’ again represents the same theme. Reproducing the same print examines the similarities we all share. ‘Sperm’ was a tongue in cheek approach. Swimming outside the box of conventionality.
Here is a few of the artists and myself on the very last day. The whole experience was really fantastic. Not only did I learn about the process of putting on an exhibition, I was able to understand operations and press release. Social media played a large role in this. It was a lovely thing to be part of and I hope I can do it again next year.