Hosts: elysium gallery, Swansea
Elysium is an artist led organisation with an emphasis on community and collaboration. We embrace experimentation, freedom, and nurture creative practice by focusing on emerging and established practitioners.
Elysium prides itself on being a safe and inclusive venue. We are the custodians of a building which has historic significance in terms of the LGBTQ+ nightlife scene in Swansea. Having been described as a ‘city mourning the loss of its gay culture’ the number of exclusive LGBTQ+ spaces in Swansea has fallen. The proposition of a Queer Space exhibition has come about in response to this but also aims to support queer visual artists in Wales and beyond.
We are looking to work with 5 artists to explore and respond to the theme of queer space working towards an exhibition that will run from 31st May 2024 – 6th July 2024.
The term queer space fluctuates between two contested concepts ‘queer’ and ‘space’.
Fundamentally, queer spaces are ones of safety, allowing queer people to embrace their authentic selves, offering a space of empowerment and resistance against mainstream norms. For many, the term may be synonymous with queer nightlife but that denies the myriad of spaces that perhaps fall under this blanket term. For example, these spaces may be architectural, virtual, personal, historical, or imagined. Queer spaces, also have potential to be political in and by their existence and practice.
Perhaps not having a singular definition is part of the point, the term remains transient, open and amorphous.
We invite artists to submit a proposal outlining how they would develop work in response to the theme of queer space.
How to apply:
Written proposals should be on no more than one side of A4 and accompanied by up to 6 JPEG images/links to videos.
If writing isn’t your thing you can provide a 5 min film or recording explaining your ideas with links to online examples.
if there is anything we can do to make the application process easier for you, do not hesitate to ask.
The five successful artists will be paid £1000 each to develop their work for the exhibition.
Please submit your proposals and images to firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: 28th January 2024
Rhiannon Lowe, Sahar Saki, Dafydd Williams + On Your Face Collective
About the selectors:
Rhiannon Lowe is a trans performer and noisemaker. Her practice has evolved into a mess of sound, exhibition, performance, text, publication, costume, and film. It is a sprawling exploration of her own experience of transitioning, haunted by the UK’s political and media climate of misinformation, scare-mongering, abuse and hatred. Under the faux character/moniker Cekca Het/Trans Panic, a never-to-make it pop/noise band, Rhiannon also commemorates and wallows in memories of growing up in the ’80s, entangled with the confused enjoyment of her now second teen-age.
Sahar Saki is an award-winning international artist and designer from Iran, based in Cardiff. She has been awarded by UNESCO, business Wales, and Art Council of Wales, also have been working with different organisations, and community centres such as Welsh National Opera, Sherman Theatre, arcade Cardiff, Cardiff Council, Radio platform, Cardiff Market, and been exhibiting her works in different galleries around Wales such as The Mission Gallery.
Sahar uses text, calligraphy, bold vibrant colours in her design and gets inspired by cultural and old patterns while she is transforming them in contemporary visual language. Protest art is also a very important aspect in her work as she believes that art is a powerful tool to make changes.
Sahar has been representing her works in the form of mural art in the past couple of years in public places. In 2020, she managed to run a mural festival to amplify the feminist movement in Iran.
‘Predominantly working with lens-based media, Williams’ practice also uses installation and painting to explore Queer lifestyle and theory, spanning from the local gay to international perspectives. As a Queer Welsh Artist he is interested in raising awareness of historical and contemporary discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community, challenging Heteronormativity, and working towards positive social change.’
On Your Face Collective
‘On Your Face is a queer-run social enterprise bringing visibility to the LGBTQ+ creatives of Wales through queer cultural events in the rural areas, an online directory and the creation of paid jobs for the community across Wales.’