One of the highlights of Pride month was a fabulous finale to an art competition launched earlier this year. The Meadowbank Adult Education & Community Learning Centre was the scene for Politics in Art – The Arc is Long, a chance to unearth local talent and exhibit pieces with an LGBTQ+ theme.
The winner was Roger Hutchins’ portrait of Alan Turning, the celebrated Mathematician and WWII hero who was prosecuted for ‘homosexual acts’ in 1952 and tragically took his own life two years later. Second prize went to Patricia Laurie’s mixed media piece ‘Upside Down’ – Patricia is a student at Adult and Community Education Hounslow – and third were six ceramic pieces crafted by Care Plus More learners, a talented group with a variety of learning disabilities and mental health conditions.
First Prize – Roger Hutchins
“My illustration combines a collaged background with an overlaid portrait. The background includes messages in Morse code and in plain text broken up into five letter groups like the Enigma coded signals from WWII.
“The portrait is executed on a sheet of picture glass using spare dry transfer lettering, some of which was nearly 40 years old. I would usually use acetate for this layer but the glass wouldn’t distort when applying the letters.
“Although this image differs from my usual illustration style it uses a technique of combining an abstract background with an overlaid portrait that I have used both in adult education classes and workshops with architects”.
Second Prize – Patricia Lawrie
“After some reflection my first thoughts were maybe that life could be turned UPSIDE DOWN. In the turmoil of realising perhaps you don’t fit into what is perceived as the way of life and the behaviour of the majority. The realisation that your INSIDE can be OUT and liberated. You can choose to be different to the majority and feel at ease with expressing yourself.
“With these words I scanned magazines and started cutting and gluing. Then using acrylic paint for design and colour to build and create the mixed media picture.”
Third Prize – Care Plus Learners, with quote from their tutor
“Care Plus More learners are a group of learners that have a variety of Learning Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions. They have been learning with us for over a year now and have come such a far way in their pottery skills. Not only do they love coming to be creative within our classes, it also gives them an opportunity to gain more independence, freedom of expression and confidence by achieving their goals within each lesson.
“We spoke about the theme LGBTQ within a couple of lessons in preparation for this exhibition and discussed what it means and how they felt towards the subject. They chose the heart shape to represent love and the freedom of loving who you wish. They chose the rainbow as it is the symbol that is widely recognised for hope in many different cultures and that one day there is hope that everyone will be equal and be treated equally. They then chose other personal items to add to the end of their rainbows that represented happiness to them”.
The art continues to be exhibited at Meadowbank until the 1st July 2022.