To celebrate LGBT+ History Month, the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology put out an open call to students and staff who identify as part of the LGBT+ community or have created work with LGBT+ themes to enter their artwork for a digital exhibition. We’ve featured a selection of the response below.
Andrea Motta – BA Graphic Design
“These are six illustrations based on 60’s-70’s American romance comic books, transforming the situations into something that could be seen as a tongue in cheek look at Bear culture, highlighting behaviours and stereotypes seen especially in social media.”Andrea Motta
Heather Frear – BA Graphic Design
‘Copperhead in the Garden, Study #1’
“When I was younger I studied fine art and specialised in watercolour portraits and figure studies, I focused on sketching and painting women as I had never been entirely comfortable sketching or painting men. However, around the time I started questioning, my creative practices began to waver, and after a while the uncertainty I was harbouring developed into internalised oppression; this had an adverse effect on my creative practice and I became entirely uncomfortable producing the portraits and studies I had once adored creating. Over the last few years I have taken part in projects, self-help processes and entered support groups to overcome this internalised oppression and its effects. This is the first female study painting I have produced and completed in more than 4 years, and although I don’t believe I have fully gotten over all these issues, I do believe that the existence of this painting is testament to the efforts and support from the wider LGBTQ+ community. Ideally this would be best presented at an in-person exhibition, in a slim line copper frame, to let the colour and textures in the painting stand out more vividly.”Heather Frear
Jay Simpson – BA Fine Art
“As a transgendered male that has transitioned from female to male, I have experienced a lot of oppression as I still present myself quite femininely. Within my work I played with a common insult towards effeminate men – ‘Clown’. I created an oil painting depicting a male with smudged make-up as if it had been cried off or violently removed to represent a phrase common to myself and other queer men – ‘Take that off your face, clown’. Additionally, I painted clown faces onto clothing. I chose to paint on clothing as society tends to judge a person on face value, and clothing is one of the first things people notice. It is drilled into our subconscious to categorise a person into a gendered box immediately, so I created works on clothing in an ironic sense that we as a society judge too quickly.”Jay Simpson
Lolita Koriznaite – MA Contemporary Fine Art
‘Many faces of some strange, weird women’
“My current practice explores both mine and my friend’s inner unrealised personalities through gender stereotypes, influenced by drag and fashion culture. Through my paintings I express colourful, fashion-radiating and queer-looking people, with a focus on facial expressions to reflect their presence through visual images. When I paint I aim to create a new world reality. The characters I depict live in and between these vibrant canvases with no earthly needs or surroundings, revealing confidence, the bold side of people as oppose to those living in the real world who usually look more simple. My inner selves have many faces, some of them are sad, depressed, stupid, basic and some other are dramatic, extravagant, full face of make up, living the best drag queen fantasy. The painting is expressing and exploring a few of those faces.”Lolita Koriznaite
Mal Robertshaw – BA Film, TV and Stage Design
“The work is a cartoon style digital piece that shows the exuberance and joy expressed in LGBT relationships, as well as the many different forms transgender expression and transgender love can take.”Mal Robertshaw
Ryan Lawton – BA Graphic Design
“This work shows members of the gay fetish scene taking pride in their second skin as rubber men who thrive behind the scenes in the gay community.”Ryan Lawton
Tobias Pearson – BA Fashion Design
“This video was inspired by the representation of femininity and its expression in all its forms. Particular emphasis is placed on embracing the chaos and the many different faces of the feminine. The garment took inspiration from the yantra (symbol) Kali, the Hindu Goddess of destruction, referencing the 6 downward pointing triangles that represent the divine feminism. Collaborating with queer and trans friends to create the video, photography and music helped make this video piece even more special.”Tobias Pearson
Rowan Pritchard – BA Fine Art
‘Latent Space Triptych’
“What does queer intimacy and comfort look like in a time of increasing virtual connection? Developed from a bank of queer/wlw kisses from TV and film these videos, generated using AI, consider how queer people find recognition, community, and safety through popular culture and escapism. The piece, created by interpolating the latent space between these AI fabricated images of queer intimacy, aims to represent those hidden spaces where our queerness can be felt and found, and where digital intimacy takes place. As digital space stands in for the physical, and our sites of intimacy and connection move online, this piece aims to make visible and tangible these hidden virtual sanctuaries. Ideally, this piece would be viewed on a black background, to create an immersive viewing experience”Rowan Pritchard
If you’re a Salford student or staff member you can head over to sharepoint to view this piece.
Maria Christou – BA Fine Art
‘Sticks and gloves for hands’
“The lack of physical contact during the pandemic made me reconsider ways of representing a long-distance connection. In a collaboration with Evita Ziemele, I created a performance art in which we are trying to reach and touch each other’s bodies with long sticks and gloves on top of them. Restrictions, distance, and desire for interaction were the inspiration of the performance piece. The surrealistic reality of a world in the years of a coronavirus pandemic. A representation of an emotional and physical relationship of humans. The rules of coronavirus. The distance, unable to feel touch. “You are so far. I cannot have you any closer, intimacy, attraction.” The idea with the sticks and the gloves came up from Colette Urban’s performance piece called “a song tosing, a tale to tell, a point to make”–1989: in a part of the performance, there is a person that is trying to catch a ball, a representation of the world, with sticks and gloves. The relative subject of Colette Urban’s work in today’s reality inspired me to create a pandemic physical relation performance piece.”Maria Christou
Maria’s work features a performance art video. If you’re a Salford student or staff member you can head over to sharepoint to view this piece. Please note that this film contains strong adult themes and nudity.
Lauren Knowles – BA Graphic Design
‘Cocktails For Your Pleasure’
“Chemsex is a sensitive area when it comes to the gay community. Through intensive research, it is clear that many factors contribute to the reason for partaking, and the temptation of ‘sex, drugs and rock and roll’ can be overwhelming, and convincing. Chemsex isn’t just the abuse of sex or drugs, it is a mixture of the two that ‘blend up’ a disastrous, ongoing event. ‘Cocktails For Your Pleasure’ ironically highlights the concoction of factors that effect mental and physical wellbeing to partakers.This ‘fake’ cocktail menu would also be placed right on the forefront of most meetups such as the gay bars and clubs of Manchester, especially those situated on Canal Street in the Gay Village, to capture the attention of the most vulnerable in a subtle way. The recipe ingredients include the two acts of sex and drug abuse, mixed with more personal side effects such as trauma – which may be a motivator or an aftermath effect to the audience. Disguised in with a mix of regular ingredients, it is a subtle way to make you think twice when ordering your next drink. This product also demonstrates further problems such as spiking and alcohol abuse, which are less recognised contributors to the many layers of Chemsex organisation.”Lauren Knowles
If you are a Salford student or staff member you can view Lauren’s work on sharepoint. Please note that this work contains adult language and themes.
This artwork has been created across the School of Art, Media and Creative Technology exploring LGBT+ artists and themes in response to LGBT+ History Month 2021. 🎨