Queer & Wow!

Furniture, Textiles & Fashion
March 6, 2015

It’s hard to believe that a whole week has already gone past since our evening of being so Queer & Now in the Museum!

 I was really pleased to see the rainbow flag fluttering above the Museum at lunchtime. As well as being visually very symbolic, it also really brought it home to me that the whole event was really happening!
Despite all of the weeks of planning the evening took, it was only when I popped out for lunch and saw the rainbow flag fluttering above the Museum that it really sank in that the whole event was really happening

At this time last week we were excitedly dashing around the Museum, greeting artists and performers as they arrived; checking that all equipment was safely set-up; making sure that everyone knew what was happening and when; and also ensuring that the Museum’s ban on glitter (for reasons of conservation) was being upheld(!). All the time we were crossing our fingers and hoping that everything would go to plan and that plenty of people would come and enjoy themselves.

The evening in full swing!

We needn’t have worried, it was an amazing evening. A big thank you to all of you who came along and helped make the evening go with such an enthusiastic and positive atmosphere!

As you can see in the photo above, it was definitely a busy night and so we really appreciated everyone being so patient and understanding when it was necessary to queue for events or when we had to regretfully turn people away when spaces reached capacity. In-fact the whole Museum reached capacity that night(!), so many thanks to those of you who patiently waited outside before being able to join the big queer party!

The Sizzle Sisters
The Sizzle Sisters kicking up a storm in the main entrance

There was a lot on the bill that night and you would have had to be super-human to be able to see and hear everything.

Pansy Paraphernalia. A packed Poynter Room listening to Paul Harfleet talk about his explorations of objects in the Museum that feature pansies and relating them to his work The Pansy Project

Photos taken on the evening can be found here but we are also planning to put up a number of posts in the coming weeks, to provide more of an insight in to some of the sessions or performances form the night.

One of these will be from Deborah (Librarian in the National Art Library) who will be telling us more about her planning of a “fantasy” dinner for an evening featuring Elsie de Wolfe, Eileen Gray, Constance Spry, Enid Marx, John Minton and Derek Patmore.

All in Good Taste. Taking a closer looking at some Museum and National Art Library objects following Deborah’s talk

I can’t even begin to try to come up with a shortlist of performances/talks/installations to mention, so instead I’m just going to leave you with a choice selection of photos from the night.

The wonderfully attired Rubyyy Jones, who not only performed her bittersweet homage to Frida Kahlo in the Japan Gallery but also hosted the stage in the main entrance (and kept the Sizzle Sisters in check?!)
Black Cracker demonstrating impressive skills and getting the crowd in the main entrance going
There’s No Place Like Homo: the Deconstruction of the Queer Country House. Part of me thinks that this photo of Sean deserves a caption competition
Write Queer, Write Now. Cat Brogan encouraging visitors to express their own feelings and responses to objects from the Museum’s collections
Salon Outré. A reading taking place that formed just one part of a range of dance, choral and spoken word performances in the wonderful setting of the Raphael Gallery
STONES. I saw some visitors having to stop for a double-take in the Cast Courts, where some of the sculptures were more lifelike than usual. It was also nice to see so many with sketchbooks at the ready for a session of life drawing
Open Barbers. Greygory and Felix created a temporary community space where visitors could flick through a selection of zines, and join in conversations about identity, gender, sexuality, queerness, and style – all whilst giving some lucky folks haircuts!
Quests for Lost Histories. Artist Sara Davidmann talking about her project Ken. To Be Destroyed, before Jack Halberstam took to the podium and joined her in conversation
The Factory Studio. The Amy Grimehouse collective took loads of wonderful portrait photographs of you lovely visitors throughout the evening
Rachael House’s piñata, inviting us to ‘Challenge Heteronormativity’, hung in the main entrance for the whole evening, symbolically it was equally tempting and frustratingly just out of reach to smash …
'Heteronormativity' leaving the building ... to be 'taken care of' in the future ...
At the end of the night, ‘Heteronormativity’ leaving the building. To be ‘taken care of’ in the future …

About the author

Furniture, Textiles & Fashion
March 6, 2015

I am an Assistant Curator working on the development of the new Europe 1600-1800 Galleries. My interests are wide-ranging but subjects I have particularly enjoyed exploring for this project include:...

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