Exhibition puts LGBTQ culture in spotlight

The gay culture will be getting a new perspective as an art exhibition titled ‘Provocations’ opens during the Blackpool Pride Festival. The art exhibition will be showing at the Church Street gallery as the area awaits the celebration of all things LGBTQ over the weekend. The exhibition has been curated by artists, Garth Gatrix and Jez Dolan with the former also displaying his own works. Gatrix’s works take a whimsical look at paint colours that use gay language such as colours that are given names such as Dainty Daisy and Cottage Door. He believes that his art is about taking ownership for the use of that language.

According to him, the gay culture features a lot of innuendo and the idea came to him as he wondered where the names of the paints came from as he was looking for paint to decorate his lounge.

There are many artists from all over the country that have been invited to showcase their work at the gallery. The idea is to show the wide range of art produced by members of the LGBTQ community and some of the works that will be shown include photography, sculpture and embroidery. According to Gatrix, there hasn’t been a larger exhibition of LGBTQ art in Blackpool before. He’s noted that the number of people taking part in the Blackpool pride has been growing significantly with every passing year.

As part of Blackpool Pride, Garth Gatrix was commissioned to do the first art exhibition in 2013 but the funding needed for that wasn’t available back then. The exhibition is independent and there will be people from many other locations coming to take part including Liverpool, London, Manchester and Birmingham. There will also be works from local artists. Gatrix believes that this will be a great way for people to see how the LGBTQ are responding to the things happening in the world currently.

However, the art exhibition isn’t intended to be a singular event with Garth Gatrix stating that their purpose for all this is to take away some of the ideas that people have had about Blackpool in the past e.g. it being a run down town. For this reason, they hope to establish a company that will be focussing on the queer program to show that, ‘Blackpool is an open place, it embraces a lot of things’, to put it in his words.

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