Platform 6, a non-profit arts organisation, opens the doors to its first collective exhibition with a showcase of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) artwork featuring emerging and established artists including Boy George, Carl Hopgood, DNA Factory, James Tailor, Layla Lyons, Lewis Burton, Rolina Blok, Victor Ivanov, William Baker and Judy Blame. Alongside the exhibition a special auction will take place where bespoke adidas Stan Smith trainers designed by the artists and Platform 6 patrons will be on offer in aid of gay equality charity Stonewall.
The exhibition, curated by artist and Platform 6 founder James Tailor, was born from a frustration of how LGBT art is represented today and a desire to highlight the diversity of work being produced by LGBT artists.
With many LGBT exhibitions taking a retrospective approach, Tailor observed a lack of representation for what it means to be a gay artist now. The Platform 6 exhibition offers a snapshot of London-based LGBT artists and comes at an interesting time for gay arts when the news agenda and popular culture are rife with storylines and features on gay equality and characters, the arts has remained fairly static.
Speaking on the exhibition Tailor says, “There is so much more to LGBT artists than simply their sexuality, however that is what many exhibitions seem to focus on, and a lot of the work itself is highly sexualised and falls into a now well-known stereotype. The Platform 6 exhibition takes LGBT art out of the context of sex, and while some of the works displayed may contain nudity, the work itself deals with themes such as non-conformity, identity and vulnerability.”
Platform 6 connects emerging and established artists with the aim of helping promising artists to showcase their creative talent. This debut exhibition connects talent from backgrounds as diverse as fine art, performance, sport, music and fashion, bringing them together in an exhibition that is current, thought provoking and appeals to a wide audience.
Alongside the exhibition, Platform 6 will be hosting a special auction in aid of gay equality charity Stonewall. Stonewall has been instrumental in bringing about important legislative reforms and has been raising awareness and campaigning for LGBT equality since 1989. For the auction, Platform 6 has joined forces with global sportswear brand adidas, creating 20 pairs of limited edition adidas x Platform 6 Stan Smith trainers which will be transformed into one-off pieces of art by those exhibiting in this year’s show and Platform 6 patrons including Naomi Campbell, Dawn Mellor, Sir Elton John, Kate Moss, Kylie Minogue, Neneh Cherry and Noel Fielding, who have been chosen for their support of the LGB community.
Spanning five floors of the Bargehouse, an unconventional venue which challenges the notion of the ‘white cube’ on London’s iconic South Bank, the Platform Six exhibition takes place from the 7th to the 14th of September and is open from 10am until 6pm.
A silent auction of the 20 customised adidas x Platform 6 trainers will take place opening online at midday on 4th September and closing at the private view event at 21:30 on Friday 6th September. One-hundred per cent of the profits will be donated to Stonewall.
Platform 6 non-profit organisation showcases lesbian, gay and bisexual artwork with debut exhibition alongside special auction in aid of Stonewall 7th – 14th September 2013 Bargehouse (Oxo Tower Wharf, SE1 9HP)
Photo: ‘(L) Layla Lyons (Center) Bed’ Boy George (R) Rolina Blok-Melpo