Using designers' work, this ACE funded show curated by academic Steve Lannin allowed us to bypass the usual presumptions of queer art, and instead let the viewer focus on the importance of queer artists making big contributions.
Treasured and well known images that are part of the western world's cultural memory, such as Chip Kidd’s enduring Jurassic Park logo, gave a new perspective of visibility to the queer community. And it was actually Robert Indiana’s LOVE piece, presented in the form of the 1973 stamp released in America on Valentine’s Day, that intrigued people the most. Learning the background of the artist behind such an iconic that many people know and identity with, really opened people’s eyes to the LGBTQI+ community without a moralistic tone to the conversation.
Presented as a traditional exhibition, with some pieces on loan from the V&A, Solent Showcase Gallery used different ways to help the community access a show that may have seemed intimidating. Trans Day of Remembrance was taking place in Guildhall Square outside the gallery in the evening, with the vigil reading a list of the names of those lost that year. Before we finished to go back to the Art House across the road, people were invited into the gallery for a ‘night at the museum’ intimate visit to feel safe and that they owned the space.
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