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Exhibition at Walsall Art Gallery explores untold stories of gay and trans communities

Catherine Muxworthy August 18, 2022

HERE&QUEER is a new exhibition at the New Art Gallery Walsall which “aims to show there is no one definitive queer experience, just as there is no one straight experience, we are all complex and multi-faceted human beings and we hope that the displays give the opportunity for people to gain new insights into works in our Collections and help visitors begin to also connect with works on an individual personal level.”

The gallery’s collections curator, Julie Brown, and learning curator, Jon Sleigh, have worked with a steering group of artists from the LGBTQ+ community to study the borough’s collections, and “address how historically public art collections have been presented in the past to represent heterosexual bias across generations of collectors, donors, curators and directors.”

“Community members have had the opportunity to take ownership of the Collections and the stories they tell, re-interpreting works from a queer perspective, and increasing the visibility of queer lives,” explains the gallery.

These fresh new perspectives on display at the gallery are a result of the steering groups exploration of the gallery’s showpiece Garman Ryan Collection, as well as delving into the collections store to find works they connected with in the gallery’s permanent collection.

“While we can’t ever claim to fully represent everyone, we endeavour for our Collections to connect with as wide a range of experiences as possible and to permanently embed visible change and representation into the displays, allowing different communities to feel a sense of ownership, of belonging, of being seen and being celebrated,” adds the gallery.

The LGBTQ+ community panel was made up of Alex Billingham, Alice Reed, Corrine, Hope Talbot, Jamal Stringer, Jayme-Edgar, LGBT+ Sparkle Wolverhampton, and Walsall College LGBT Society.

As well as the exhibition, the New Art Gallery Walsall are also hosting a range of events alongside it, including family workshops, celebrations as part of Walsall Pride, and a curator’s tour. The museum’s exhibitions are all free to visit.

For more info on HERE&QUEER, CLICK HERE

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