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Queeriosities: Meet (some of) the Artists

This May the Museum of the Home are hosting the inaugural artists and makers fair 'Queeriosities', which will showcase over 35 LGBTQ+ creatives and businesses. The artists, curated by Davy Pittoors, are working across a whole range of mediums, from sculpture to paintings, textiles to homewares. They will be exhibiting, and selling, work that explores a diverse range of visions and representations of the fair's theme: domesticity, identity and home.

We spoke to a handful of the many artists who are going to be exhibiting at the fair to hear about their own journeys and the work they are bringing to 'Queeriosities', as well as how queerness and domesticity interact with their creative practises.

Alec Stevens

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the work you’re bringing to ‘Queeriosities’?

My name is Alec Stevens and I am an Artist, Sculptor and Researcher. I’m trained in the craft of wood carving and I use specialised making techniques and conceptual thinking to create objects and installations that unravel history in historic places.

For 12 years I’ve been creating revealing works in places like the National Trust, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Wetlands and Wildfowl Trust as well as numerous national and international museums and archives. What I make is inspired by the rumours, secrets and the untold in these spaces and always links back to the materials that I choose to work with.

For Queeriosities I will be showing a series of artworks called ‘Sausage Fest’. Originally created during a residency period within West Dean College between 2021-23. I’ve been heavily influenced by their commissioning history of surrealist interiors and a queer reading of a relationship there. The college is situated within West Dean House close to Chichester. Edward James, the last owner of West Dean was patron to Salvador Dali, Magritte and many other surrealists, commissioning significant works such as the ‘Mae West Lip Sofa’ and the ‘Lobster Telephone’. As a queer artist I was drawn to the stories related to Dali’s and Edward James’ close relationship and how they came up with artwork ideas during parties in the 1920s.

My artwork ‘Sausage Fest Swatch’, is a sample of herringbone parquet flooring where each wooden tile is replaced with a different type of sausage made from wood. The swatch could of been used to tempt Edward James in the 1920/30s to commission a whole room full of sausages just for him. Part dick joke and part surrealist lecture the work talks about queerness within the history of a very particular place.

Expanding upon the idea of a sausage filled floor, I created sausage objects for the home including butter knifes, light pulls, bottle openers, toys, wearables and books. All made from differing woods to suggest differing sausage types. All have been hand turned, carved and detailed to adorn your home in sausages.

Sausage Fest

How does being part of the LGBTQIA+ community interact with your creative practice?

Being Queer and Gay is inherent to how I perceive the world and the details I notice within it. It also effects my choice of how I interact with people and what I expose and hide from them. Life is therefore considered. As someone that enjoys flourishes and decoration to elevate my lived experience, I take pride and joy from including these elements within my work. Making my works extraordinary, unique and steeped in story.

The last 12 years has seen me interact with many histories in differing places but has honed to become specialised in revealing the queer experience to the world through the artworks I make. I now seek out queer stories in places to explore. Part of this searching is born from frustration from the lack of exposure to relatable histories in the world. It’s become my goal to make history relevant to the queers.

How does your work respond to the themes of queer domesticity, identity and home?

The artwork ‘Sausage Fest Swatch’ is designed to fill a homes floor but also to flex your queerness, extravagance and ridiculousness. This artwork is out of the reach for most people visiting the fair at the Museum of the Home, mainly due to the craft hours involved in producing it, it’s been very much a labor of love for the last 3 years. To make the work obtainable I’ve produced specifically designed domestic objects that play with the theme and allows the buyer to bring joy to anyone's home.

Saundra Liemantoro

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the work you’re bringing to ‘Queeriosities’?

My name is Saundra Liemantoro, and I am an Indonesian multidisciplinary designer and maker based in London with work that spans across mediums of ceramics, print and product design. I will be bringing my 3D-printed ceramic homeware and sculptures, which are the product of my experimentations using the lo-fi 3DPotter as a tool that operates beyond a clean-cut digital fabrication tool. Also on the table will be work from Em—Dash Press, a graphic design studio and press based in South East London founded by Aarushi Matiyani and I. With an emphasis on self-publishing and collective making, we make our own zines, take on commissions and run workshops to share ideas, skills and facilitate collective making.

squiggly no. 8 holds another universe

How does being part of the LGBTQIA+ community interact with your creative practice?

I think being a part of the queer community makes me seek joy and playfulness in my design, and at the same time root my practice in research. My identity is constantly questioned (and threatened) by the systems and policies that surround me, so I am driven to unpick why they have been built in that way and how it can change. My 3D printed ceramic work began as part of my final year project in university, 'Black Box — White Clay', where I aimed to demystify and communicate the powers and dangers of Machine Learning algorithms (which often mirrors and amplifies our racist, patriarchal society) through sculpture and storytelling. I draw parallels between Black Box algorithms with the creation of White Clay on the 3DPotter to highlight the importance of questioning the viability of the technologies around us and push for better online policies. Being queer also manifests in Em—Dash's way of working, occuring at a pace accommodating to ourselves and anyone we work with, while being kind to each other when things don’t go as we hope.

How does your work respond to the themes of queer domesticity, identity and home?

I think homeware, wall art and sculpture allows us to celebrate moments or objects through seeing and interacting with them everyday. My collaboration with the 3DPotter produces strange, undulating ceramic bodies. An effect created by my queer migrant body, cathartically prodding and interrupting the flow of clay extrusion, deforming the intended print file—what was written in stone. Em—Dash's work playfully focuses on objects, design and politics through Egg Recipes From Friends, photographs of home and relationships with machines (as our appliances, as our printers).

Richard Kilroy

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the work you’re bringing to ‘Queeriosities’? I’ve been regarded as a fashion and menswear illustrator since I graduated in 2010. My style took a sharp turn in 2020 and I currently focus much more on looser drawing and painting, which is mostly erotically charged.I’ll be bringing my portfolio of illustrations and a selection of removed sketchbook pages. I also have a new postcard set exclusive for Queerosities.

How does being part of the LGBTQIA+ community interact with your creative practice? I’m a cis gay man who draws gay men. I have sitters who have all been gay so far who I’m inspired to draw, otherwise I work from references such as 70s gay mags and explore the male body as decorative form.

James Robert Morrison

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the work you’re bringing to ‘Queeriosities’?

From Scotland originally, I initially studied at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen before heading south to London's Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. After graduating in 2002, I took the more practical path into full-time work within the gallery and museums sector, as I needed a regular income each month to be able to pay back my 5 years of accumulated student debts. 17-years later, I jumped at the chance to reduce my working hours from full-time to part-time, so I could establish a dedicated studio and working pattern to support the new development of my creative practice - hands down, this has been the best decision I have ever made!

For 'Queeriosities' I am super excited to be bringing a selection of works from my 'Ghost within me' series, introducing five new small scale drawings, and launching a limited edition of 10 fine art prints of a large scale drawing, from my series 'There is never more than a fag paper between them'. All of these works will be affordable and available framed or unframed.

How does being part of the LGBTQIA+ community interact with your creative practice?

For me, they are both completely entwined with one another - if I wasn't part of the LGBTQIA+ community, my creative practice would simply not exist.

Since returning to the studio in 2019, my focus has been on a new body of work with two key threads running through it - personal experience as subject matter and the referencing and re-appropriation of a personal archive of gay porn secretly collected during my teenage years when I felt pressured into hiding my true sexuality. At that time, these magazines were the only place I could see representations of intimacy between men. This was pre-internet, when anti-gay sentiment was at its peak in the UK following the HIV/AIDS pandemic and introduction of the notoriously homophobic legislation - Section 28 of the Local Government Act. There was virtually no queer representation or visibility, and if you did happen to find some, it was certainly not positive. The intimate subject matter, combined with repurposed personal archival material, allows me to present work which has a touching and nostalgic narrative, normalises non-heteronormative identities and, importantly, starts to fill the void of positive queer representation and visibility, that I, and so many other members of the community, did not experience during their formative years.

How does your work respond to the themes of queer domesticity, identity and home?

The 'Ghost within me' series responds to the theme of 'queer identity' by playfully exploring what a person conceals or reveals and by reflecting on my personal experience of feeling I had no choice other than to erase my true sexuality when growing up. At that time, I described my authentic self as: “a ghost within me”. The theme of 'queer home' is also touched upon by this series - the personal archive of gay porn magazines used to create the works has been hidden in every home I've lived in since my teenage years, right up until 2020 when I started to transform pages from the magazines into the works of art that they are today.

The series 'There is never more than a fag paper between them' responds to the theme of 'queer domesticity' - tender portraits of male same sex couples in domestic settings are referenced (from the same personal archive of gay porn magazines) on the unique and challenging medium/surface: fag (cigarette) papers.

There is never more than a fag paper between them - Jerry and Alan (2023)

Pencil on fag (cigarette) papers

'Queeriosities' is taking place on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st May 2023 at Museum of the Home. Find out more here.

Check out the full list of exhibitors and follow them for more:

Alec Stevens @stevens.alec

Amit Vadher @amitvadher_artist

Andia Coral Newton @andiacoralandiacoral

Arjan Van Dal @arjanvandal_ceramics

August @august_margate

Bermondsey Studio @bermondsey_studio

Bona Books @bona.books

Byard Works @byard_works

Built This Way @built_this_way_

Clay Wild Studio @claywildstudio

cripes.ginger @cripes.ginger

David Lock @mrdavidlock

Daisy Blower @daisyblower

Everything Now Design @everythingnowdesign

Felix Wall @fewix

heraldblack @heraldblack

James Robert Morrison @james_robert_morrison

Kavel Rafferty @kavelrafferty

Krishna Shanthi @_skrishnanana

Lily Deason @lilydeason

Marblehead @marbleheadstudios

Mark Mann @mark__mann_

Matt Pagett @pagettmatthew

Mia Pollak @signsbysandk

Michael Maskell @michaelmaskellart

Miles Coote @miles_coote

Pâme @cometopame

Peter Ibruegger @peteribruegger

Rachael House @rachaellhouse

Rad Husak @lord_radek

Richard Kilroy @richardkilroy

River Manning @rivermanning_

Robson Stannard @robson.stannard

Ross Head @rossmhead

Rowan Frewin @rowanfrewin

Saundra Liemantoro

Scott Ramsay Kyle @scottramsaykyle3.0

Shaven Raven Designs @the_shaven_raven

The BitterSweet Review @thebittersweetreview

The Boy Is Beautiful @theboyisbeautifulmag

Urania's Children @uraniaschildren

Wild Water Art Store @wildwaterartstore

Will Martin @will.martin

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