Not Seeing Straight: Celebrating Queer Art

Explore LGBTQ+ artists with us as we delve into archives and collections to celebrate queer art.

LGBTQ+ artists have always existed, but art histories have predominately been told from a perspective that often suppressed their identities. In this new series of three films, Not Seeing Straight: Celebrating Queer Art and Lives, we explore artists and their artworks. What can we learn about queer artists from archives and material out of public view? Is there such a thing as a queer aesthetic? What signs and symbols have queer artists used to suggest their feelings and identities?

The Hidden Histories of Queer Art

The first film in this series, The Hidden Histories of Queer Art, examines the work and lives of artists including Duncan Grant, Claude Cahun, Joan Eardley, Anne Lister, and George Platt Lynes, among others.

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The Queer Code: Secret Languages of LGBTQ+ Art

The second film in our series explores the visual symbols and language used by LGBTQ+ artists and communities. Oscar Wilde and his circle famously wore a green carnation. These flowers are just one example of the many visual symbols throughout history which hinted at secret sexualities and identities. So what other coded symbols can we find in the history of queer art? How do today's artist reference and re-use them? And how have hidden symbols transitioned to a wider and more expressive queer visual language?

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Queer Art: Where is the Queer Joy?

The third film in our series focuses on queer joy. Too often we dwell on the negatives of history's LGBTQ+ artists, dark stories, pain, and repression. But look closer and queer joy can be found, sometimes explicit, but sometimes in the abstract. So how do we find and illuminate this work? And why is it so important that we do?

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31 January 2022