LGBTQ+ History Month is celebrated annually in the month of February in the United Kingdom. The first LGBTQ+ History Month took place in 1994 in Missouri, and started in the United Kingdom in 2005 following the repeal of Section 28 two years prior. Not to be confused with Pride Month which is held annually in June, LGBTQ+ History Month has a particular focus on visibility and awareness within the education system for LGBT+ people, something which was illegal under Section 28.

While it has been almost 20 years since the repeal of Section 28, the impact of this homophobic legislation is still felt today. As recent as 2003, children in schools would have been forbidden from learning or teaching LGBT+ issues, and this stigma did not disappear overnight. This is why it is so important to celebrate and to encourage visibility and awareness of LGBTQ+ people and their experiences across all genders, sexualities, races, cultures, abilities and faiths. 

This February we will offer you a series of talks, workshops, artist showcases, and opportunities to have your voices heard and your work seen and celebrated. We are committed to making sure that your experience at UAL as and LGBTQIA+ person is the best it can be, and to help our allies understand why we do this every year. 

UAL's LGBTQ+ Society is here to connect LGBTQ+ students with one another year round through events, socials and activities. You can find more information and get involved through their society page, or through their Instagram.

Want to read more from a fellow UAL student about the past, present, and future of LGBTQ+ History Month? Check out Sachika Bhojani's blog post.
 

"This month, this year, and every year, at UAL we have this message to our LGBTQIA+ students and teachers: you are seen, you are heard, you are valid, and you are loved! If there is one thing the LGBTQIA+ community is good at, it is being a community. In the past we have had to do this in secret, but now we do so in the open, hand in hand, lifting up and supporting the most vulnerable amongst us. While COVID restrictions mean we can’t meet in the same ways as previous years, this community still thrives and with your help we can make this LGBT+ History Month one to remember."

-- Justin South, LGBTQ+ Students Officer 2021/22 (He/Him) 

 

"Art allows for self-expression. We can escape through art, be immersed in it. Our practices communicate our voices in unique ways. Our art can act as a safe space for us, it may protect us, challenge us, help us answer difficult questions in our lives. As LGBTQIA+ artists our art deserves to be seen, heard, digested and celebrated.  

What does this celebration of self and practice look like at UAL? This exhibition space for LGBTQIA+ History Month displays student artwork with their peers and recognises the unique importance of themselves and their practice." 

-- Georgia Spencer, Arts SU Welfare Sabbatical Officer 2021/22 (She/Her)

 

LGBTQIA+ History Month 2022 Event Programme

LGBTQIA+ Exhibition at Central Saint Martins - VISIBLE

LGBTQIA+ In Conversation Event at Central Martins - A Love Letter

Arts SU Instagram Takeover by artist Clémence Vazard, showcased in the LGBTQIA+ Exhibition. will take place on 11th Februray.

An interactive sequin embroidery workshop led by Clémence Vazard based on their new project that opens up the spectrum of gender and provides fluid representations one thread at a time.

The UAL LGBTQIA+ Collection available to buy on Made in Arts London.

A competition in collaboration with Not Just A Shop for UAL students.

 

 

Visible – LGBTQIA+ Exhibition – Artist Information 

 

Artist: Siân Taylor 

College: Camberwell College of Arts, MA Illustration 

Title: Hung Up 

Price: £120 

“A self-reflective piece on avoidance leading to isolation, both mentally and physically, essentially indicative of how my ‘hang-ups’ have kept me from connecting authentically in relationship. This self-portrait was created using acrylic paint on 40x50cm canvas, metaphorically portraying the limited view outside my narrow bedroom window as a kind of assault course I must first cross to liberate my mindset. The interior is visible as a contradiction- warm and enticing, representative of safety in familiarity despite preventing personal growth. Positioned between the two, sitting on the windowsill I long for the opportunity to discover more of who I could be outside whilst unwilling to take the leap and fully abandon the assuring comfort of my mental ‘room’. Despite being fully self-aware, I choose to remain in the contradicting state of longing for connection yet unable to move away from the counterintuitive comfort that isolation has provided me for so long. Complicit to my situation, I chastise myself for being cowardly in using isolation to avoid the realities of life as a queer woman, and to avoid facing the realities that entails. However, the piece is not only a criticism of my lack of will to connect, but proposes that my isolated time was still valuable, allowing space for personal growth and a deeper understanding of my own psyche.” 

 

Artist: Kiara 

College: Central Saint Martins, Fashion History and Theory 

Title: Visible 

“I wanted to write something deeply personal that would help me express my feelings. At some point most young people in the community will relate to this kind of situation and I hope this means they can connect to the poem. This piece is all about receiving visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, quite clearly, not just from our loved ones, but from ourselves too.” 

 

Artist: Amelia Johnson 

College: Central Saint Martins, BA Fine Art 

Title: The Snog 

Price: Prints available from £25 

“Amelia Johnson is an artist currently studying at Central Saint Martins. Johnson primarily focuses upon the use of papier-mâché and paper clay to sculpt colourful and comical characters. Through this lens of humour Johnson addresses social issues such as gender, politics, and sexuality in a light-hearted manner that detracts from the intensity of the stigma surrounding the topics. Joy is principle to Johnson’s practice. By making work about shared experiences through depicting domestic narratives, everyone is included when viewing or experiencing the work. Humour connects us and joy becomes a mechanism for making change. This work is inspired by Auguste Rodin’s sculpture ‘The Kiss’ (1882). Johnson takes this opportunity to utilise the power that contemporary sculpture can have and aims to reinstate queer women back into the art historical narrative.” 

 

 

Artist: Esme Godkin 

College: Central Saint Martins, Fine Art 

Title: A New Eden 

Price: £50 - £350 

“In my practice I confront the taboo and darker aspects of life, thematically focusing on religion, death, femininity, sexuality and magic. I use traditional aesthetics and symbolism from western art history as a vehicle to comment on modern issues and my experiences as a young artist. 
 
This project is important to me because history's heteronormative focus means to live as a queer person I can often feel alone, disconnected from the rich history of people that have allowed me to live and identify as I do, queer stories are sidelined or altogether erased from history, In this project I consumed the words and art of queer people that existed before me to illuminate voices long silenced in life that will stay silenced in death if I don't listen, culminating into a visual origin story that grounds me in my history and shows the birth of my identity today.
 
The body of work I have produced visualises a new genesis of humankind, what the world would look like liberated from the divisions of sex. I have subverted the Adam and Eve narrative by illustrating a new origin story of queerness. Using recognisable symbols of renaissance devotional painting to challenge what's seen as the ‘proper’ subject matter of high art. My androgynous image is elevated to the status of holy iconography. The pomegranate symbolism that ties the images together, symbolises desire and flesh becoming a celebration of human sexuality, there's no forbidden fruit in this garden.” 

 

Artist: Eli Moore 

College: London College of Communication, BA Illustration and Visual Media 

Title: Transmasc Joy 

“I am a queer artist who aims to represent the unrepresented within queer media, setting out to reclaim our communities narrative through creation and experimentation.” 

 

Artist: Clémence Vazard 

College: Central Saint Martins, Art and Science 

Title: Inmaculadxs 

Price: £2700 

“Clemence Vazard is a French interdisciplinary artist. She is a MA Art and Science student at Central Saint Martins. Started during her residency at Casa Roga in Mexico during summer 2021, French artist Clémence Vazard's new artworks series opens up the spectrum of gender and provides fluid representations, one stitch at a time. Feminist movements of the 21st century are embracing pluralities of claims and identities, following Kimberlé Crenshaw’s notion of intersectionality. Provided that race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics “intersect” with one another and overlap, feminist activists as well as contemporary artists are acknowledging and investigating on these intertwined struggles. Clémence Vazard, for whom feminist struggles and theories are at the foundation of her artistic approach, has also taken up these issues. During her residency in Mexico City in 2021, she particularly investigated the iconography of the Virgin of Guadalupe, what it represents as a vision of "the" Mexican woman and its various depictions in popular crafts. Among them, the embroidery of sequins has been a common thread during the artist's visits to Mexico. Her recent en-counter with the Bruja de Texcoco during one of her musical performances, wearing a dress adorned with sequin embroidered Virgins, was the latest revelation for Vazard. She then invited the Bruja to pose as the Virgin of Guadalupe and collected her intimate story, her vision of femininity, of her femininity. With "Inmaculadxs", the artist delivers a work that brings together emotions, singular experiences, and intimate testimonies of femininity expressed and shared during its creation. As often in her work, Clemence Vazard invited local people to witness and participate in the creative process of the artwork: Mexican embroiders, artists, crafters, friends, visiting audience of Casa Roga workshop gathered hands and voices around the piece. Since then, she has experimented embroideries with different threads and technics, such as digital embroidery at Central Saint Martins, to create as a way to acknowledge the explorative aspect of transidentities and to honour and celebrate all representations of gender.” 

 

Artist: Sylvian Lockwood 

College: Central Saint Martins, Performance Design and Practise 

Title: Pride 

“The pride series was something I've recreated again and again for years. Each year I discover something new about my identity and the challenges being Transgender and Queer have brought me. By expressing the meaning of the pride flag through makeup I found it helped me express and explore who i am. I only wish the same for everyone around me.” 

 

Artist: Filip Skiba 

College: London College of Communication, BA Photography 

Title: The Fluid State 

Price: £80 each 

“His core aim with his practice is to look at the role the photographic image plays in helping marginalised groups proves equal worth & moral status within society.” 

 

Artist: Magnus Vintin 

College: Camberwell College of Arts, Illustration 

Title: Trans Heart 

“Based on the lyrics of "true trans soul rebel" by against me!, being transgender and non gender conforming is something that has changed my life path since I was 11. I have only started to feel the trans joy in 2021 as I can regard myself as in a safe community. Hearing the speeches and names at memorial services for transgender events to the First binder , I hope all of the trans youth knows that they deserve love and joy.”