In the limbo period of Xmas and New Year I found myself taking several parties of friends and families around the Pool of Life at different times. It is quite something, seeing the City through the eyes of strangers, aliens to its charms. I have a love affair with the City Centre which anybody who has read features on here previously will know.
The first shock to my friends was that the Museums are free!
If you have not had the pleasure of embarking on a ship as an emigrant at the Maritime Museum, do so! Although the black wigs on the dummies looked like they could have been stolen from a Human League Appreciation party. The Walker has a wealth of art, so much that only a limited supply is actually on display. Check out the new exhibit of Liverpool images though the years to see views of Castle Street and the St John’s Market resembling Covent Garden.
In a world where Russia creates ridiculous restrictions for LGBT drivers, it was an absolute pleasure to show off the cultural richness the City proudly exhibits and particularly the work of Homotopia:
- An ongoing exhibition about Gay life in the Navy with HELLO SAILOR at the Maritime Museum. It was an insight to discover that the common Scouse term bevvy (slang for a drink) stems from Polari .
- The internationally ground-breaking April Ashley exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool Life. April Ashley has LIVED a life, a pioneer in LGBT history. I read the book April Ashley’s Odyssey last year. What a ride! From dining with aristocracy and being dated by Hollywood royalty to being skint in Hay-on-Wye, living on tinned food.
- THE GANG, photographs by Catherine Opie at The Walker. Her collection of portraits of LGBT friends, an entourage of individuality, subverts American archetypes.
I made THE GANG after individually shooting them all for the 1991 body of work, Being and Having. It was great to see them with their moustaches and I couldn’t resist making some group photos of them…..I think it is perfect in celebrating Homotopia as this work was made 20 years ago, in relationship to visibility within my queer community. It is good to reflect on the equality that has been achieved, as well as the fight in regard to homophobia that continues.
So to banish the January blues, I would suggest painting over the grey and dark bleakness brought to us by the weather by catching the Technicolor works on display at all of the above.
Sail away to another land.
Check out the LGBT exhibitions.
The world can never have enough glitter!
And the Museums are free!