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Friday, 23 February 2018

I'm doing an artist talk in Bristol! LGBT+ Liberation & the Politics of Textiles

I'm doing an artist talk in Bristol which is pretty exciting. I'm going to be discussing the Same Sex Marriage Quilt which is on display at the Bowers Gallery in Bristol. For those who have followed this blog a little while will know I did this project back in 2015 so its great to have it back out on display and talk about the work. If you want to know more click on the labels textiles or equality quilt and you'll see my previous posts about the project

If you don't know about the project here is a little more detail about it. If you're local to Bristol please come a long and say I would would love to meet you!

A community quilt project which celebrates the 396 Members of Parliament (MPs) that voted in favour of same sex marriage bill 2013. The quilt is a political map with all 650 MPs constituencies.  He has been working with a range of venues and groups to get the public involved in the project. These include People's History Museum, LGBT Youth North West, Museum of Liverpool, FACT, The 1st National Festival of LGBT History, Homotopia, Unity Theatre and Schools Out. 

I worked with different groups to get the public to decorate hand drawn portraits of the 396 MPs that voted in support of the same sex marriage bill. The portraits have been collected together to form a political map of the UK and all the MPs constituencies. There were also 254 MPs that did not vote for the bill, for those gaps in the map people were asked to write messages of hope towards a more equal and accepting future.  

The project was made possible through successfully competing against 12 finalists for one of three mirco-residencies with People's History Museum in 2014. The project continued being supported through Homotopia's artist development scheme Queercore. During Homtopia’s 2014 Festival Unity theatre and Museum of Liverpool hosted sessions for the public to decorate the hand drawn images. The project engaged with community groups until all 396 contributions were decorated. From design to construction the project took two years to create. The quilt is 4 metres tall by 3.5 metres wide and was constructed with the support of Digetex and Source Unknown.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

My videos inspired by my trips to the Museum of Liverpool

I made a couple of videos in relation to my trip out to Liverpool You can see them all here!
The first video is a summary of my trip, in this video you can see some of the best bits while I provide a speed drawing of the a study I did of James Hanley which was a painting on display. James Hanley was a writer who wrote 'Boy'.

This was his second novel, his "first novel of the sea", was first published by Boriswood as a limited edition of 145 in 1931 oy.

Boy is the grim story of an intelligent thirteen-year-old boy, Fearon, from Liverpool who is forced to leave school by his parents so as to help support the family, by working "on the docks as a boiler-scaler".He hates this job and after being beaten by his father Fearon stows away on a ship. When he is discovered, as the ship is shorthanded, he is signed-on to the crew. Fearon's suffering continues on board where he is sexually assaulted. 

When the ship docks in Alexandria, Egypt, Fearon has his first sexual encounter with a woman, in a brothel, where he contracts syphilis. On the return voyage this disease rapidly develops. The novel concludes with the captain smothering Fearon to put him out of his misery and his body given to the sea. Novelist Hugh Walpole, in a review, described Boy as "A novel that is so unpleasant and ugly, both in narration and in incident, that I wonder the printers did not go on strike while printing it".

Then, when it was reprinted in 1934, in a cheap (second) edition with a "scantily dressed" belly dancer on its cover, Boy was prosecuted for obscenity. See the full wiki source here

 While I was there I got inspired to make to timeline video of all the books that shaped me as a person  after looking at some of the community timelines on display at the Museum of Liverpool.This then moved onto creating a video about what was happening to me as I was growing up at each of those phases in my life. 

I hope you like it! Let me know if you've been affected by any of the same things I'd love to know!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Queer stuff going on in Liverpool!

I popped over to Liverpool for the Launch of Homotopia, it was so much fun!
 Liverpool is always so welcoming and friendly, everyone is so open and approachable which is really lovely and makes every trip even more special. The opening night was a frankic little tour across the city, it started in FACT, moved on to Liverpool Art Gallery and ended in Royal Standard and ended with an after party. There is so much to enjoy across the city though beyond just these three. The Walker gallery has Coming Out and Tate Liverpool has a pieces which link to queer themes as well. If you have not checked out Homotopia's full programme, I really recommend that you do Unity theatre is hosting a lot of performances across the next few weeks.
Below is a selection of pictures from the different venues I went to for full details of the exhibitions please select the links to their website and go check them out!

Royal Standard- Notes on Queerness

 Liverpool Museum -Tales from the city

Walker Gallery- Coming Out

 Tate Liverpool- Constellations 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell inspired image



I made a new gif! This was a creative response to the young adult novel Carry On by Rainbow Rowell.

Simon Snow and he frienemy Baz have to work together to deter a red dragon from attacking their school. This is the moment that Simon 'pushes' a little bit of his magic out of himself and into Baz. Baz is able to funnel this raw energy from Simon and channel it into a super powerful spell.

 I really enjoyed the process of making this gif, if you're interested in how it was created you can see a more detail in my video here:

I'll be uploading a full review of the book on Wednesday please come back and check it out!
For a copies of the gif's follow these links :-)

With text:

Without text:

Friday, 4 August 2017

Liverpool Pride!

Here is a video of my experience at Liverpool Pride! I was lucky enough to be asked to create a banner for Alternative Fashion Festival who were taking part in the parade march. This video gives you an overview of what happened during the day.

Check out their vdeo from the day where you can see them in action!

While I was there I also held #bookdraw workshops during the day, you can see the contributions I collected from the people that took part. 
I invited people to read quotes from books which I have reviewed on my channel. These quotes were then turned into creative responses by those who took part. The idea was to introduce more people to various stories with queer voices. Take your time to have a look at them all some of the art work is really fantastic.