#MakingEqualityHappen celebrates LGBT+ creatives

#MakingEqualityHappen celebrates LGBT+ creatives

Photo : #MakingEqualityHappen opening reception | Credit : All photos by Hannah Houston

We first heard about Stonewall Season in the Summer when we had one of our catch up meetings with the awesome team at Stonewall Scotland, who are also based in Edinburgh. We loved the sound of it and were excited to hear more. Stonewall Season is a brand new festival of events hosted by the UK’s biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) charity Stonewall and their friends, supporters and partners across the UK.

The inaugural festival ran from 1st -10th November 2016 with an opening event in Manchester, and closing event in London. This was traditionally around the time the annual Stonewall Awards would take place in London, with the decision made by Stonewall to end the awards in 2015. With events taking place all over the UK, each one celebrated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life and culture, and brought together the LGBT+ community and its allies.

After another meeting with Stonewall Scotland we knew we had to get involved, so in advance of the meeting we had a bit of a brain storming session and our Founder Thomas Anderson brought a few ideas for an event to the table. An event that brought together and celebrated LGBT+ artists and creatives was one on our event plan for 2017/18 and we thought this would be a perfect event to be a part of the inaugural Stonewall Season – there is so much talent up here in Scotland. Thankfully the Stonewall team agreed and off we all went to make the #MakingEqualityHappen exhibition a reality.

“All money raised at Making Equality Happen will support our work to ensure that everyone, everywhere, is accepted without exception. We will be carrying on throughout the year, standing by the side of LGBT people, and empowering individuals to change their communities.”

The #MakingEqualityHappen exhibition was hosted at the awesome Gayfield Creative Spaces in the heart of Edinburgh city centre and took place over three days, 4th-6th November.

The opening reception took place on the evening of 4th November and saw many of Scotland’s talented creatives come together to share their work with guests, who included representatives from Scottish Parliament, Somewhere, Police Scotland and YWCA Scotland – and many more organisations.

There was a real buzz in the gallery with guests enjoying wine and cocktails, popcorn and sweets, FOAL – a new craft soda produced in Scotland, whilst taking in the diverse art, poetry and film Inclusive Networks and Stonewall Scotland curated for the exhibition. Big thanks to FOAL and the Natwest British LGBT Awards for supporting the opening reception, and to Hannah Houston for capturing the evening with her amazing photography skills.

The gallery was then open to the public over the weekend with people from all over the world visiting the exhibition.

Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland said : “This fantastic event was part of the first Stonewall Season, which has seen individuals and organisations across the UK come together to celebrate the achievements of our diverse LGBT community. All money raised at Making Equality Happen will support our work to ensure that everyone, everywhere, is accepted without exception. We will be carrying on throughout the year, standing by the side of LGBT people, and  empowering individuals to change their communities.”

Thomas Anderson, Founder and Director of Inclusive Networks said : “It was fantastic collaborating with Stonewall Scotland on the key Scotland event as part of the inaugural Stonewall Season. Big thanks to all of the amazing artists and creatives who supported the event and to Gayfield Creative Spaces for being so generous and flexible with our use of their gallery. It was great hearing all the positive comments from visitors to the exhibition and the love for the exhibitors diverse work. There is a real desire for an event like this. We’re already talking about how to make #MakingEqualityHappen bigger and better for 2017 so watch this space.”

More about our awesome exhibitors :

ANA HINE

Ana’s work explores the metaphysics of pregnancy, particularly the potentiality of female fertility and its representation in art. The images are representations of eggs in her ovaries and the squiggles on them are baby names in Teeline shorthand – a version of the English language used by journalists.

She’s using Teeline shorthand because she used to work as a reporter. It’s very temporary…in that not every letter is written and the writer has to remember or work out what the word actually was. So it’s quite ephemeral, which she felt was appropriate for the names of babies that the eggs could become, but statistically probably never would become (given that there are hundreds of thousands of ova in a human ovary).

ANNE GILCHRIST

Anne’s work is wholly concerned with the natural world – particularly that found in Scotland. She aims to connect people to an innate recognition of the natural world, to engender a strong sense of place, to foster an attachment to the local environment and to reawaken a sensitivity to our surroundings.

She works within the landscape, both creating and exhibiting work in the environment. She exhibits widely in Scotland, most recently at Scotland’s International Poetry Festival StAnza 2016, Edinburgh Palette and Vogrie Country Park Midlothian. In February and March 2017 she will be exhibiting at the Scottish Natural Heritage’s headquarters at Battleby, Perthshire.

ASTEN HOLMES-ELLIOTT

Asten is a filmmaker and artist. Using a range of different mediums, which include film, photography, illustration and, most recently, painting, Asten’s work examines emotion, connection and community. Asten continues to produce work with an emphasis on outreach and community.

During the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Asten was an artist in residence at Pride House Glasgow.

CORDULA MARKS VENTERS

Cordula was born and grew up in Germany, where she developed her love for history, folklore and mythology. She has lived in Edinburgh since the 90s, where she has nurtured her love of illustration and illustrative storytelling.

The pieces relate to the illustrated novel she is currently working on. The story is set in southern Germany during the second World War and follows its main character, Isa Raichenhall, as she searches for her lost love, Leoni.

ELEANOR CAPALDI

Eleanor is a Film & TV Studies graduate. Her poems are influenced in varying ways by her experiences of coming out and as part of the LGBTQ community.

Whether it is injustices in other parts of the world, or the first revelations about identity and love, these works together attempt to show the proximity between self-discovery and acceptance, and the challenges this involves.

MARK VICE

Working from his Edinburgh studio, Mark creates expressive drip and splatter art portraits that are as bold as they are beautiful. An unrestrained and energetic painting style results in pieces of art that are strong, powerful and passion driven – it is difficult not to be drawn in by their raw intensity.

Mark is the winner of the ‘Cultural Icon of the Year’ award at the 2016 ICON Awards.

RHIANNON TATE

Rhiannon has worked in visual media since she was 15 – from independent UK manga anthologies to dinosaur documentaries with David Attenborough, her career has been varied and lively, more recently turning to graphic design and typesetting.

Her true loves are illustration and story telling and she has been a constructive member of various arts communities in London prior to moving to Edinburgh a few years ago. After retraining in publishing, she spent a year as Creative Director of Four Letter Word magazine.

She continues to be an active member of the LGBT+ arts scene and is looking for new adventures.

TRUDY HOWSON

Trudy is the UK’s first LGBT Poet Laureate. Ex actress, ex longhaul traveller, her poetry explores landscapes, internal and external. She writes about the landscape of the LGBT community with warmth and humour. Her work is topical and inspirational.

Her poetry has been published in The Telegraph, The Times, and The London Review, as well as numerous magazines and online publications.

TWEET HAPPY :

About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He is a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards.

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