"Out of over 90 applications, I’ve managed to reach the final 12 artists in a competition with the People’s History Museum for a week’s residency! I’m pretty excited, but they will only select three based on a public vote. So please follow the link and vote for me. The vote is open in the museum itself and you can vote online until 5pm 11 June.
The People’s History Museum project would enable me to execute workshops for people to contribute to the foundations of a bigger project. I am currently in the process of developing a community quilt project, which aims to celebrate the 396 MPs who voted ‘Yes’ for equal marriage in 2013. 396 portraits hand drawn will be individually printed on hexagonal fabric and sewn together to form a quilt. The remaining 254 MPs that did not say yes will be represented by hexagonal fabric with messages of hope that have been made by the public.
During the week's residency, I would host drop-in workshops, getting audiences to create a range of positive messages to the MPs who did not vote for equal marriage. This participation aims to inspire more political engagement with current affairs and will draw out key examples from the People’s History Museum’s banner collection (which include banners from suffragettes and Section 28 campaigns). The project highlights that although LGBT people have gained rights, there is still work to be done to gain real equality. The messages I create will then be appliqued onto the hexagons representing where an MP did not vote for Equal Marriage.
Vote for Oliver here:
The diagram above illustrates how this would appear, the black hexagons are those that voted against, the grey are those who abstained and the coloured hexagons represent the MPs who voted yes (and their political party). You can see how MPs voted and who they represent from this interactive map from the Guardian. You can see the geographical locations of the MPs and how they voted. I’ve been inspired by tapestries in historic stately homes and wanted to create a contemporary quilt that marks a key point in history, which acknowledges a step toward a more equal society in Britain.
The project is aiming to engage more young LGBT people in how politics shape our society. I work with LGBT Youth North West and we do a lot of work to make them aware of our political structure and how they too can become activists. LGBT Youth North West recently hosted the Schools Out Conference and the young people captured oral histories from the speakers and activists, which will be converted into a book. LGBT histories have suffered from issues of visibility and it’s important that we do mark and record events that are significant to our history. The quilt itself will be created later in the year and will act as an educational tool to inform young people of the role of MPs and how to become an activist for equal rights themselves. I am aiming to complete the full quilt in time for the next LGBT history month (February 2015)."
Manchester-based artist and Haus of Phag collaborator Oliver Bliss needs your votes! As part of the People's History Museum's 'Work In Progress' exhibition, they are offering three microresidencies for local up-and-coming artists. Oliver has made it to the final twelve but needs your vote to help secure his spot at the museum this summer. Take a look at his plan for the project below and please take the time to vote too!
Writer, director, fascist dictator.