Pride at the Ironworks announces launch of photographic exhibition, The Identity Project

Graham Robson July 21, 2021

Organisers of Brighton & Hove Pride’s new festival of cultural events Pride at the Ironworks, supported by Tesco, have announced details for The Identity Project; an exhibition by Brighton-based photographer Chris Jepson , which explores what it means to identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community today.

With simultaneous installations at Ironworks Studios (opening July 31), Jubilee Library and Chalk (open now) in Brighton, this sensational series of bold, striking black and white portraits presents the diverse faces of LGBTQ+ people from myriad walks of life across the globe. Challenging stereotypes, reframing assumptions and dispelling myths of perceived identity, this exhibition showcases the religious to secular, young to old, performer to military and makes for essential viewing as we celebrate Pride month.

Chris Jepson, photographer, said, “After more than 20 years working for a variety of LGBTQ+ media, I was struck by the lack of diversity often shown in images purporting to represent us as a community, so I was keen to make a body of work that was fully inclusive and representative of our whole beautiful and varied rainbow tribe.

“Throughout recent history we have been persecuted and legislated against but in times of need we are there for each other. At the Stonewall riots in ’69 it was lesbian, gay, QTIPoC (queer, trans, and intersex people of colour), and other disenfranchised queer people who were on the front line. In the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York City it was lesbians who rallied around gay men in their hour of need and more recently when the trans community has come under attack, including from within our own ranks, it has been the rest of the LGB community that stepped up and said ‘No, transphobia is not ok’.

“As our hard fought for rights are being eroded, it is essential that we come together as a community.

“All families have disagreements and moments of discord, and the rainbow family is no exception, but I am hoping this project will show that our rich diversity is our greatest strength.”

This beautiful collection of images is presented on a neutral background in black & white, giving a result that is objective but at the same time inclusive, in that each one, devoid of its surroundings, becomes a component part of a larger story of community; a student in India sits in the same light as a Minister of Religion in Brighton, half a world away but connected.

Supported by the Pride Cultural Development Fund, which provides grants for local LGBTQ+ artists and community groups to participate in our annual Pride cultural events, The Identity Project will run throughout the Pride at the Ironworks season this August and September at Ironworks Studios, Jubilee Library and in the windows of Chalk in central Brighton.

While unable to run larger scale events, Pride at the Ironworks enables Brighton & Hove Pride to continue  campaigning, celebrating and supporting  the local LGBTQ+ and wider community while fundraising for essential local charities and community groups that do such essential work all year round. Every ticket sold for Pride at the Ironworks will include a charitable donation to the Brighton Rainbow Fund. For further information on the Pride Cultural Development Fund and fundraising, click here.

To make the cultural programme accessible to all members of the community, Pride will be offering a number of discounted tickets for every performance. Sign up to the Stage Door list to keep up to date with events and news from Pride at the Ironworks and for exclusive discounted and free tickets, previews and stand-by seats.

For Pride at the Ironworks tickets and information, CLICK HERE.

For further information on The Identity Project and details on how to get involved, CLICK HERE.