Exhibition puts LGBTQ culture in spotlight

Provocations, an LBGTQ art exhibition tying in the the Pride Festival, has opened in the Church Street gallery (next to old BHS). Exhibition curator Garth Gratrix framed by a Roseanne Robertson piece.
Provocations, an LBGTQ art exhibition tying in the the Pride Festival, has opened in the Church Street gallery (next to old BHS). Exhibition curator Garth Gratrix framed by a Roseanne Robertson piece.
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A new art exhibition is bringing a fresh look at gay culture during Blackpool Pride Festival.

Provocations runs at the In Collaboration With gallery in Church Street, and is open now ahead of the weekend’s celebration of all things LGBTQ.

Provocations, an LBGTQ art exhibition tying in the the Pride Festival, has opened in the Church Street gallery (next to old BHS).  A work by Oliver Bliss depicting 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit' author Jeanette Winterson's difficulties after revealing her sexuality.

Provocations, an LBGTQ art exhibition tying in the the Pride Festival, has opened in the Church Street gallery (next to old BHS). A work by Oliver Bliss depicting 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit' author Jeanette Winterson's difficulties after revealing her sexuality.

Artist Garth Gatrix has curated the exhibition, with Jez Dolan, as well as showing his own works, which take a comical look at paint colours which use gay language.

“You find paint colours have these names, like Cottage Door or Dainty Daisy, and it’s about taking ownership of that language,” he said.

“Innuendo happens a lot within queer culture, and when I was looking at paints to decorate my lounge I thought ‘My God, where did those names come from?’

“So it’s a bit of a look at gay culture and how we associate that with every day life.”

Blackpool is an open place, it embraces a lot of things

Artists have been invited from across the country to take part in Provocations, to showcase the range of art among the LGBTQ community, with works on show including sculpture, embroidery and photography.

Garth said it is the largest exhibition of LGBTQ art Blackpool’s ever had.

“Blackpool Pride has been growing over recent years, by a couple of thousand visitors each year,” he said.

“In 2013 I was commissioned to do the first art exhibition as part of Blackpool Pride, but the funding wasn’t then available for a couple of years.

Provocations, an LBGTQ art exhibition tying in the the Pride Festival, has opened in the Church Street gallery (next to old BHS).  A work by Ben Jones.

Provocations, an LBGTQ art exhibition tying in the the Pride Festival, has opened in the Church Street gallery (next to old BHS). A work by Ben Jones.

“This is an independent exhibition, with people coming from places such as Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and London to take part - alongside local artists.”

Garth said the works were an interesting way to see ‘how LGBTQ people are responding to the world at the moment’.

“Our ambition is to set up a company, focusing on the queer programme, to erase some of the ideas that people see Blackpool as a rundown town.

“Blackpool is an open place, it embraces a lot of things.”

Provocations, In Collaboration With, Church Street, until Saturday, June 17.