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Queer as folklore exhibition

To celebrate re-emergence this group show gathers together a diverse collection of LGBTQIA artists whose multi-disciplinary work examines the subversive dark depths of English Pagan history, exploring a lost world of rituals, rites, fantasy, legend, myth, rumour, and gossip.

Shortly after the devastation of WW2, creatives from the burgeoning counter-culture started to reject concepts and constraints of established religions as they explored and examined other belief systems and spiritual paths. By the late ’60s, this had exploded into Pop Culture with stars seeking exotic enlightenment in India, cool young black musicians being drawn to Rastafarianism and entertainers chanting to Buddha and singing Hare Krishna. As most existing mainstream religions were steeped in homophobia, LGBTQ people invariably looked to other beliefs and ideologies for personal and creative inspiration.

British Paganism is seen by many as bizarre, unsettling, and scary  – a dark religion, steeped in sexual rituals, witches, warlocks, and the worship of nature. This non-conformity is extremely appealing to artists who question the formality and prejudices of traditional religions. And the very fact that our own ancient belief systems were destroyed by the invasion of Christianity fuels further interest from outcasts who have been rejected by the Church.

The artists contributing to this exhibition, examine and explore British Paganism with a vibrant sense of exoticism, intrigue, and playfulness. Together they create work that lies somewhere between reality, illusion, and imagination. Did these characters and stories really exist or are they just, myth, legend, rumour, and hot gossip?

Featured artists – Caroline Coon, David Harrison, Ben Edge, Bishi Bhattacharya, Paul Kindersley, Paul Bommer, Kit Boyd, James Dearlove, Jim Pilston, Tracy Watts 
Thanks to Arts Council of England Gallery 46 Whitechapel – 46 Ashfield St – E2 The exhibition is open  until May 30th, 2021. Curated by DuoVision  – Martin Green & James Lawler 


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