SKITTLES® has joined forces with GAY TIMES, Queer Britain, and Getty Images to provide a sneak peek into the group’s upcoming exhibition, QUEER JOY.
Popping up in Liverpool’s iconic Royal Albert Dock from 11-13 May, the free exhibition will explore the concept of “Queer Joy” – defined as the deep happiness that brings warmth and purpose to queer lives.
The exhibition will showcase striking portraits of queer people, captured by a variety of emerging international photographers. Through these images, the pop-up exhibition aims to shine a light on the unfiltered, queer self-expression that is vital to the LGBTQ+ community and highlight the feeling of QUEER JOY.
Guests will be invited to capture their own images within the space, pick up a packet of SKITTLES® and will also have the chance to have a portrait captured by a local queer photographer.
The QUEER JOY preview in Liverpool signals the start of a yearlong mission for SKITTLES®, GAY TIMES, Queer Britain, and Getty Images, who are helping millions of people to See The Rainbow by working to improve LGBTQ+ representation in photography. This year, the group will be capturing all identities in 1000+ images to help tackle stereotypes in media and better represent the vibrant and dynamic LGBTQ+ community within the UK.
Following its preview, the full exhibition will officially open at The Outside Art Project, which has turned King’s Cross into one of the largest outdoor gallery spaces in London. Always-on, always-free and always open, the QUEER JOY exhibition will be showcased from June to August 2023.
Speaking about the exhibition, Ryan Pardo-Roques, Senior Brand Manager, SKITTLES® said: “Liverpool has an impressive history when it comes to LGBTQ+ movements and we’re thrilled to reveal a glimpse of our QUEER JOY exhibition in the city.
“This month, we will see a Europe-wide moment of cultural unity in Liverpool and we’re hoping that the exhibition will help further spark the feeling of queer joy, vibrant expression, and togetherness.
“The exhibition marks a three-year journey with our brilliant partners to help create the LGBTQ+ archives of tomorrow, shaping them into the dynamic and representative collections they ought to be. By helping people See The Rainbow we hope to drive more acceptance through visibility!”
Josh Fletcher, Executive Creative Director at GTX, GAYTIMES Group, added: “In a world where anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric is gaining more prominence across the media landscape, representation of QUEER JOY is more important than ever.
“Our exhibition provides much-needed positivity, celebrating and bringing hope to the LGBTQ+ community and allies alike. Too often, representation of LGBTQ+ individuals rely on outdated stereotypes, failing to capture true diversity.
“By collaborating with the next generation of talented photographers, we aim to disrupt this cycle and create lasting change. As Eurovision draws a massive LGBTQ+ audience, it’s the perfect opportunity to spread joy and celebrate our campaign ahead of such a big moment in the city.”
Alongside the exhibition, the group is working to ensure that future documentation is truly representative of the LGBTQ+ community. Getty Images VisualGPS research highlights that when images of queer people are used in media and advertising, they often rely on outdated stereotypes of LGBTQ+ people.
For example, 30 percent of images used show gay men as flamboyant and 29 percent show images of lesbians looking more masculine. What’s clear is that the photographs we often see depicting queer people don’t accurately represent the intersections and diverse spectrum of LGBTQ+ identities.
Helping capture the feeling of QUEER JOY and supporting the creation of future documentation, 10 emerging LGBTQ+ photographers were selected following a nationwide search in 2022.
The photographers will be attending key moments and events across the year to capture QUEER JOY and experiences. Their work will feed into the 1000+ images project and be displayed at the QUEER JOY exhibition in King’s Cross.
The free-to-attend exhibition is open from Thursday 11 until Saturday 13 at The Grand Hall in Royal Albert Dock Liverpool.
STILLS CAMPAIGN BY GAY TIMES TEAM and photographer EL HARDWICK
Don One / they them / @don1birmingham
Fraser / he/him / @fraserfab
Tanaka / he/they / @tanaka.fuego
Gabby Thind / they/them / @gabby_thind
Symoné / she/they / @symoneforever
Becky Dann / she/her / @beckydann
Mahatma Khandi / he/she/they / @mahatmakhandi
Shay Shay / they them / @shayshayshow
GETTY x SKITTLES BURSARY WINNERS:
Florence Law / they/them / @florence_law
John Post / he/him / @postj84
Felix Pilgrim / he/him / @felixpilgrimphotos
Mx Neffy / they/them / @tq.archive
Ceri Oxman @cerioxmanphoto Manchester UK
Alexandra Obochi @curatedbyxandra Abuja, Nigeria
Jemiye Ugwujide @jem.ugw Johannesburg, South Africa
Lo Hunter, @lohunterphoto Missoula, Montana, USA
Aimee McGhee @shotsbyaimee_ London, UK
Shreya Shetty @preciselypicturesque Bombay, India
Gillian Macdonald @gilliejeanking & @harperscottphoto Glasgow, Scotland
Daniel Roa @DanielRoaART New York, USA
Morgan Lieberman @thechromaticsheep Los Angeles, USA
Arlette Moyi @arlsmoyi London, UK
POST-EVENT PHOTOS BELOW: