Thursday, October 25, 2007

Celebrating a Lesbian Life

This exhibition, created by Val Dunn, is an extrodinary example of the inspirational work that can be done for an event during February's LGBT History Month.

"For this exhibition I have selected people and events that have shaped my life as a lesbian. The Bin represents things gladly rejected or left behind, Celebrations are moments of freedom and events and organisations that have made or make my life enjoyable. In the middle panel I have chosen some of my icons, people or places that have influenced, sustained, or pleased me. I have selected only those brave women who have ‘come out’, that is they have voluntarily said that they are lesbian and live with the consequences – not any easy thing to do.

This exhibition was originally produced as part of Pride in the House at Lauderdale House, Highgate in July 2003. It was called ‘Over the Rainbow – a showcase of work by seven older gay and lesbian artists’. I just want to reiterate here that without the assistance of Heike Lowenstein my chosen graphics would not have been realised so well.

When I responded to the invitation in the paper I did wonder whether it was good idea to expose myself in this way, especially in a setting local to me. However, having decided to do it, I enjoyed the process of thinking how I might present myself. I couldn’t imagine doing a video and, after talking about alternative possibilities with the other participants, I decided to concentrate on showing those things I was glad to reject and those I wanted to celebrate. The format presented itself from an idea I had to do with fridge magnets! Then when we were choosing the dinner party guests I discovered that the other participants didn’t know the people I was familiar with, so I decided to include my own icons in my presentation. My mood swung from elation to deep gloom as the weeks went on with many sleepless nights. Not knowing how it would look until the last minute made me particularly anxious. It was just as well I didn’t know how much work I had given myself to do at the last moment! I enjoyed the preview and showing my friends round the exhibition. My twin said she was touched that I had included her in my celebrations!

I was pleased to have the opportunity to take part in this exhibition. Something I had never done before. So I thank the funders, the staff at Lauderdale House and all the facilitators, but especially Heike of course. When we talked about the project I couldn’t imagine how the installation of the exhibition could be achieved and I am full of admiration for the way that everyone worked to make it the success it was."
-Val Dunn

With the Pre-Launch a few weeks away and Feburary just around the corner, it is perfect timing to starting planning and thinking about your upcoming events. Our newly launched forum is an exciting and interactive space to talk about future and past events.

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