Artist Jan Morley 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
Jan talks about her identity, influences and the work:
At the moment, I am designing plates for a trade show in New York – I and my work partner sell our designs to large tableware firms in the USA.
I am drawn to looking at women’s issues in my art – in the piece I have submitted for GFEST – Gaywise FESTival, I am exploring the words used for the vagina and wanting to reclaim our words back. I would like to pursue this theme – and I have already done some artwork which follows on from this. Of course I have to say that this piece was greatly influenced by Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues.
I feel that being a lesbian does inform some of my ideas and I think it is important to be open – to show that there are strong role models who are not afraid of public perception and that we are just human beings like everyone else.
I own and run an online gift store which sells primarily to the Gay & Lesbian market and I am always amazed at the reaction the mugs get at Gay Prides – the most common comment is, “My mother would go mad if she saw that.” What I find interesting is that they never say – “My dad would go mad.” – in fact when asked they usually say that their dad would love it. I have never had that reaction at a heterosexual venue. It feels odd that there we all are at a Pride event celebrating difference, diversity and acceptance of who we are but at home it is not like that for a lot of people – there are still high levels of secrecy, shame, embarrassment and fear of being found out. My mugs and artworks are about bringing the political into the home and confronting attitudes around sexuality, feminism and acceptance.
I suppose, I don’t see myself primarily as a queer artist – I see myself as a female artist who is also a lesbian. I think who I am does come out in my work so there is always going to be some gay element in what I do. I don’t think that anybody who has gone through the coming out process can have exactly the same view of the world as a straight person.
I did have an exhibition of some of my work at Sh! in London last year but that’s all. It took a lot of courage to send in my submissions and it has been extremely validating to have my work accepted and seen as proper ART! Anything I do is funded by myself – the whole Liberty Bodies venture has been financed by myself.
I would love to do more artwork – I have lots of ideas. I market Liberty Bodies myself using social networking but I would also love to do artwork under my own banner – not having to be commercial, just following my creative instinct. I would love to receive a grant or actually have people buying my artwork so that I could do more of it.
I would love it if my work empowered other women to love and embrace their bodies and their strength.
To be accepted as mainstream art – I think it is good to have gay art festivals as it strengthens us and makes us visible and able to then go out into the bigger world and make our mark.
A single wish ? – That somebody buys the art!
Thank you Jan and best wishes from GFEST.
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