Fancy getting creative in the name of LGBT 50? Arts organisation Duckie is calling on the people of Hull to help them create giant LGBT+ icons for a special parade that will kickstart our week-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of sexual freedom in the UK.
Renowned for award-winning work that ranges from cabaret to performance art and clubbing, Duckie’s crew has now embarked on a six-week residency at a pop-up workshop space on Jameson Street in Hull.
Now, Duckie artist Robin Whitmore, artist Patrick Bullock and a Hull-based artist will lead a series of workshops to create the figures in their aptly-titled project 50 Queers for 50 Years.
In consultation with local and national LGBT+ groups and individuals, Duckie has put together a diverse list of icons to reproduce, ranging from an eight-foot Gok Wan to a 3D replica of Hull gay pub, Frankie’s Vauxhall Tavern. The pieces produced will feature in the Pride In Hull parade on Saturday 22 July as Hull becomes the first city to host UK Pride.
Duckie producer Simon Casson said: “50 Queers For 50 Years is not only a celebration of the huge steps forward in society but also a chance to reflect on how recent these strides are, and how fragile the foundations they are built on are.”
“So, in addition to a fag butt in a giant cabinet that will be paraded by four Dusty Springfield lookalikes, we’ll also play homage to footballer Justin Fashanu, who made reference in his suicide note to being treated unfairly because of his sexuality.”
Everybody is invited to get involved in the free, drop-in workshops that will take place at 95 Jameson Street on Thursdays and Fridays from 4pm to 7pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 2pm to 5pm, until the Pride In Hull parade on Saturday 22 July.
Martin Green, CEO and director of Hull UK City of Culture 2017, added: “It’s a special year for the city: Not only is it UK City of Culture, but we’re hosting the first ever UK Pride. We’ll have the eyes of the LGBT+ community across the country and beyond firmly focused on us, which is why it’s really important that the Hull LGBT+ community is at the heart of our celebrations.
“The shop is the latest in a series of community engagement activity following Yorkshire Dance‘s workshops for Into The Light, Pride In Hull’s call-out for photographs for its A Moment In Time exhibition and our call-out for writers to take part in Lost Property, a series of writing workshops with award winning playwright Tom Wells.”
The Pride In Hull parade, followed by a concert headlined by the legendary Marc Almond, will mark the start of Hull 2017’s week-long LGBT 50 celebrations. The jam-packed programme includes A Duckie Summer Tea Party on Saturday 29 July featuring special performances of Into The Light, a newly commissioned work by choreographer Gary Clarke and Yorkshire Dance.
Into The Light is described as “a fast-forward version through LGBT+ history” and invites everyone to dance through the decades from 1967 onwards. Follow the LGBT+ community’s emergence from a secret world and join in with a riotous, family-friendly performance in the bright, open air. There’s still a chance to be a part of the performance by registering your interest by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Also on the agenda is a star-studded concert broadcast live from Hull City Hall on BBC Radio 2 presented by Scissor Sisters frontwoman Ana Matronic and BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills.
Throughout the week there will be exhibitions — most notably A Moment In Time — debates, socials and film, as well as the opening of Lee Price’s exhibition The House Of Kings And Queens at Humber Street Gallery on Thursday 27 July. This specially commissioned collection of work offers up a glimpse into The House, a safe haven for homosexual residents of Sierra Leone, where homosexuality remains illegal.
LGBT 50 will take place from Saturday 22 July until Saturday 29 July.