Miami, Florida based phographer Silvia Ros will be presenting her art work at GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2010 Visual Arts Exhibition @ Hampstead Town Hall / InterChange Studios, The Atrium, Hampstead Town Hall, 213 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 4QP. (Entrance from footpath on Haverstock Hill) / Tel: 020 7692 5800 / Wise Thoughts: 0208 8899555 / Mon 8 to Friday 19 Nov (Sat, Sun closed) 10.30AM to 5.30PM / Entry Free
An interview with Silvia:
What are you doing right now?
Getting ready for a month long photography fellowship at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.
How would you describe your own art work?
I use my artwork to affect change. My goal is to bring about an awareness of the personal stories which have created LGBT activists. I focus on the everyday person who has taken a personal tragedy or situation which occurred because they are LGBT and out of that created a voice and vehicle for change.
How relevant is your work or practice today to be a part of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) or queer art work?
My photography seeks to emphasize the courage of the activist LGBT community in the hope of inspiring others. It tells the stories of LGBT activists.
Tell us about your reasons for presenting your work as part of GFEST 2010?
My photography as part of The National LGBT Visual Documentation Project is editorial. Freedom to Love was a jumping off point for this project. You might call it the face of the project. It was presented in Miami alongside many other reinterpretations of Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms by noteworthy artists. It had to be powerful to make a statement and I believe it does that. This piece is very personal and examines not just my sexuality but my cultural confusion as a first generation Cuban-American.
Do you see your work as gay or queer art?
I am a gay artist by virtue of the fact that I am a lesbian. Oddly enough, even though the thing that binds all of these activists is their persecution because of sexual preference, I don’t see it in these photos. It’s about emphasizing their humanity, rather than their sexual preference. It’s very personal.
How do you fund your practice?
I self fund this project with occasional help from grants. I intend to turn it into a not for profit to help with costs.
Would you require any specific support in terms of getting your work out there?
I publicize my work by including them in shows like GFEST – Gaywise FESTival as well as by applying for grants and just getting the work out there. I try to be very free with it.
How would you like yourself to be known?
I’d like to be known as an editorial documentarian of the LGBT struggle for equality. I’d like the work to be passed down through generations so that no one forgets what had to be done to achieve equality regardless of how commonplace it may become to be LGBT in the future.
How do you see tomorrow’s ‘gay or queer art’ scene?
I think gay art should be integrated with all other art. Singling it out as ‘gay’ art can create a wall between the art and the audience.
A single wish?
Full LGBT equality of course! I hope that humanity learns compassion and empathy as part of this struggle so that in the future other differences unite us instead of divide us.
Now in its fourth year, GFEST is supported by the Mayor of London, dignitaries, Ministers and MPs from all the leading parties, various London boroughs and Arts Council England.
GFEST 2010 images on http://www.flickr.com/photos/GFEST
GFEST 2010 Visual Art : http://www.flickr.com/photos/gfest/sets/72157624870998137/
LONDON: GAY ART FESTIVAL : GFEST 2010 showreel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwJ9UWJX1fg
More info on GFEST – Gaywise FESTival (GFEST in short) web: http://www.gaywisefestival.org.ukGFEST Artistic Director: Niranjan Kamatkar
WISE THOUGHTS is an arts charity that organises GFEST – Gaywise FESTival in venues across London. GFEST web networks: http://www.wisethoughts.org http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk http://www.facebook.com/niranjan.kamatkar http://www.gaywisefestival.blogspot.com/ http://twitter.com/gfest https://gaywisefestival.wordpress.com/ http://www.yoursemotionally.com/ http://www.myspace.com/interviewwithapolitician http://www.flickr.com/photos/gfest/ http://www.youtube.com/user/wisethoughts http://uk.linkedin.com/in/niranjankamatkar http://www.myspace.com/gaywisefestival