Featured image: John Walter From Sodomy to Intimacy, 2015 © John Walter
Art Hole is Gay Times’ monthly roundup of the queer art you need to see around the UK. This month, we’re looking at the personal stories of strength from within our community that contribute to our collective identities on the macro level. Curated by Gemma Rolls-Bentley
Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity
Until 5 November, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity is the UK’s largest exhibition to explore LGBT+ history through contemporary art, presenting the findings of more than two years of research and bringing together works from the Arts Council Collection and Walker Art Gallery.
The exhibition reveals previously overlooked LGBT+ art histories and institutional blind spots by displaying artworks that have historically been excluded from both private and public collections, many of which have been acquired for the Walker Art Gallery’s permanent collection with the support of the Art Fund New Collecting Award scheme. The works brought together in the exhibition explicitly address themes of sexuality, identity and gender, the earliest work dating from 1967 when the Sexual Offences Act, marking the partial decriminalisation of male homosexual acts in England and Wales, was passed. The show opens with Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings UK Gay Bar Directory, a film and sound archive of gay bars in the UK, which perfectly embodies the Walker Art Gallery’s vision to protect LGBT+ heritage from erasure and preserve the history of the spaces fought for by the community. Nearly one hundred works in the show by artists ranging from David Hockney to Zanele Muholi to Wolfgang Tillmans are accompanied by a programme of events, performances and interactive experiences that take place in FORUM; a designated room at the heart of the exhibition.
Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity is a touring exhibition conceived by National Museums Liverpool, in partnership with Birmingham Museums Trust as part of the Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme 2016-19. The show will travel to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery in December 2017 where it will be re-presented to include works from Birmingham’s collection by artists such as Francis Bacon and Grayson Perry.
Sutton House Queered: School of Anarchy
Until 3 September 2017, Sutton House, London
Sutton House and Breaker’s Yard is launching a yearlong programme of exhibitions and events developed by, with and for LGBT+ communities. As part of the National Trust’s Prejudice and Pride programme, marking the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, Sutton House Queered aims to question and disrupt, challenge and celebrate. The House’s Summer project is a celebration of queer art and activism.
School of Anarchy reflects on a key moment in the house’s history when in 1985 a group of squatters took ownership of the space and turned it into a community centre, hosting rock concerts and covering the house in colourful graffiti and anti-fascist, anti-Thatcher and feminist political slogans. Continuing the history of community-focussed programming, which has remained central at Sutton House ever since the squatters short stay, The School of Anarchy will explore the themes of LGBT+ activism and protests, banners and flags, DIY cultures and activist zines. Queer artist Jacob V Joyce will be creating an exciting and interactive in house exhibit and a series of fun kids’ activities that will be open throughout the summer holidays until 3rd September, 12pm-4:30pm (Monday to Sunday).
The Museum of Transology
Until 3 June 2018, Spotlight Gallery, Brighton
The Museum of Transology is a collection of artefacts, photographic portraiture, stories and personal objects donated by Brighton’s vibrant trans community to comprise the largest collection representing trans people in the UK. This highly intimate and bold exhibition challenges the notion that gender is fixed, binary and biologically determined, by exploring how the objects reflect the participants’ self-determined gender journeys.
Collected and curated by E-J Scott, and made possible by those who donated items to the collection, the display features photography by Bharat Sikka and Sharon Kilgannon, My Genderation films by Fox Fisher and Lewis Hancox, Sexing the Transman and Mr Angel documentaries by adult film star Buck Angel, and behind the scenes footage from Born Risky by Grayson Perry. The exhibition launches Be Bold, a series of collaborative exhibitions and events, programmed with Brighton & Hove’s LGBT+ communities.