London LGBTQI cross-arts festival GFEST announces 2015 dates


GFEST2015coverweb4GFEST – Gaywise FESTival, recognised as London LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgeder, Queer and Intersex) cross-arts annual event in November has announced 2015 dates: Monday the 9th to Friday the 20 November.

GFEST 2015 programme advisors names are also announced on the festival’s website: http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk/

GFEST 2015 programme advisors include Anna McNay, Gulliver Ralston, Michael Petry, Simon Tarrant, Subodh Rathod and Lois Keidan and the artistic director is Niranjan Kamatkar.

GFEST 2015 theme is ‘(Complacent Present) …Fragile Future?’ GFEST 2015 visual arts exhibition will explore Asian identities under the theme: Asian Future. The films are planned under the theme ‘Cinema Futura’, while the performance events will be falling under ‘Tonal Future’.

The festival event in London’s LGBT calendar consists of visual arts exhibition, film screenings, performances and talks and debate focusing on the works of young and established artists and practitioners. The festival is organised by arts charity WiseThoughts and is now in its 8th year.

Catherine West, the MP for Hornsey & Wood Green where Wise Thoughts is based, said in her message of support, “I am delighted to offer my support to this year’s GFEST, celebrating some of the brightest and best talent in the LGBTQI community here and abroad.  I am looking forward to coming along to one of the events in my constituency and send my best wishes to everyone taking part this year and to Wise Thoughts for organising such a fantastic diverse programme”

GFEST artistic director Niranjan Kamatkar said, “we are very pleased to receive the support of our local MP and we continue to profile LGBT art works due to the support of eminent people, artists and audiences. Irrespective of significant funding challenges, we are confident that we can deliver the full festival programme this year.”

London’s Gay Art Festival GFEST 2015 Seeks Expression of Interest from Artists, Filmmakers and Performers


GFEST – Gaywise FESTival has announced the 2015 call for entries open to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI) artists on its website: http://www.gaywisefestival.org.uk
The festival accepts expression of interests from filmmakers, artists and performers in 3 main categories : Films (shorts and features), Visual Arts and Performances.

GFEST2015coverweb4NIRANJAN KAMATKAR, director of GFEST said, “This year we will work with venues that will actively promote the profile of LGBTQI artists. The festival has been offering an excellent platform for LGBT films and artworks over the last 8 years now. GFEST 2015 presents an ideal opportunity for sponsors to show their commitment to LGBT equality and diversity.”
Recognised as London’s annual gay art fest in November, GFEST in the past was supported by a number of London venues including the National Gallery, V&A and was launched in UK Parliament for over 3 years.
Invaluable to London’s diverse LGBT arts communities
GFEST is internationally recognised as a high profile event by media and other festivals.
The festival provides a unique opportunity for young talent to network and showcase works alongside the established names. Last year the festival presented new commissioned works by 3 visual artists and 2 performers. The organisers hope to present new commissioned works this year. The festival is organised by arts charity Wise Thoughts.
Visual artist and Wise Thoughts new trustee Dr Trevor Wood MBE said, “I am delighted to be associated with this year’s GFEST, a unique festival showcasing outstanding work of artists from the LGBT community and has helped many new and aspiring artists with their careers. Taking part in GFEST can help promote your work within the mainstream arts industry in London and wider afield.”

North London art organisation announces new events in Wood Green Library


A series of new events and initiatives are announced at arts charity Wise Thoughts, a North London orgnisation based in Wood Green Library in the month of March 2015 and beyond.

A Lesbian, Bi and Trans (LBT) women drop-in which will incorporate a book club, plus cultural activities. The FREE drop -in will take place on every second Thursday of the month from 5 to 7 pm in Haringey.

The month of March will also see keep fit classes with personal trainer Marios Iacovou happening on Wednesday lunch-times from 12.30 pm onwards.

Yoga+Kathak

And a joint half day workshop with Farah Fernandes and Subodh Rathod will explore creative movements from Yoga and the Indian classical dance of Kathak on Saturday the 21st March 2015.

The organiser Niranjan Kamatkar said, “We had a series of successful events as part of LGBT History Month (February) this year at Wise Thoughts CCH (Creative Cultural Hub), which included a lecture on Queer Art from the Tate Collection, Paradise Press and Planet London authors booking reading events, which were enjoyed by a number LGBT people.”

The organistion delivers regular gayWISE drop-in activities, Postive Rainbow drop-in for HIV+ gay, bi men and MSM along with Exotic Moves dance classes.

The drop-in sessions provide opportunities for meeting likeminded LGBT people and also exchanging information and advice.

All the events and activities will take place in Wood Green Library in North London.

Arts charity Wise Thoughts organises London’s LGBTQI cross-art festival, GFEST – Gaywise FESTival, annually.

More info: http://www.wisethoughts.org/whats-on/

Art Charity Wise Thoughts Announced LGBT History Month Events at Wood Green Library in February


Arts charity Wise Thoughts has organised an exciting line-up of events as part of LGBT History Month (in February 2015) this year.

On Thursday the 5th February at 5.30 pm Marcus Dickey Horley, Curator of Access Projects at Tate Modern will present an illustrated lecture: Queer Art from the Tate Collection.

KBHCL12Feb2015On Thursday the 12 February at 5.30 pm, Wise Thoughts – Creative Cultural Hub (CCH) have teamed up with Planet London to launch the Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Women+guests Group Drop-in, leading talks and introducing a new book club. ‘London Calling’ Author Clare Lydon and Katie Bennett-Hall will be reading from the anthology ‘L is For’, followed by a Q&A.

 

 

 

ParapresscoverAnd on the third Thursday of the month, on the 19th February at 5.30 pm, an event will introduce to the work and publications of Paradise Press, an LGBT book publisher. There will be short readings (poetry, fiction and memoir) by the authors including Jeff Doorn, John Dixon & Jeremy Kingston audience questions, discussion.

 

More details on Wise Thoughts what’s on webpage.

Other Wise Thoughts Creative Cultural Hub (CCH) activities are also announced on Wise Thoughts what’s on page: Lunchtime Yoga, Exotic Moves, #gayWISE dropin, #PositiveRainbow dropin.

Wise Thoughts is an arts charity based in Wood Green Library in North London and delivers art/ cultural activities, services around LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) & BAME (Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic) issues. Wise Thoughts organises London-wide annual LGBT cross art event: GFEST – Gaywise FESTival.

Contact: info@wisethoughts.org/ 020 888 99 555

The male body, more than a gay obsession at GFEST 2014


Helton Vilar

Three London artists who will show their work at GFEST – Gaywise FESTival this year, offer their opinions on why the male nude figure is so present in art today, claiming other meanings beyond stereotype.

The male body inspires multiple art works and this is no news. It has historically received many portraits at painting, photography, and other supports. Some might even argue about a certain contemporary obsession, especially from gay artists. Recent works from three London artists are examples that this continuous search does not necessarily follow a sexual nature; instead, artists are looking for new ways to explore it, depict it, and absorb it through art. Their compositions are not entirely dedicated to the male nude figure, which is only seen in some moments, but this part is interesting to confront how new readings exist beyond cliché.

_D3_9440  Gokhan Tanriover was born in Turkey, grew up in the UK, and quit his career as a doctor to dedicate himself to photography. His pieces are created in well-elaborated techniques of production and printing, such as liquid light and cyanotype. These images mix abstract, religious, and queer culture elements. Tanriover says that he is “fascinated by the motion and distortion that water causes on subjects behind the lens”, which gives, in fact, an often disturbing, but beautifully constructed appearance to his pictures. The male gaze is not only non-conventional, but a second layer of his focus.

 

+MS 2Working with more figurative and accessible views, Matthew Stradling looks for the classical and undeniable sensuality of the male nude. His paintings have lively, full-contrast colours, depicting bodies in raw, organic, explicit behaviours. “The paintings often seduce the viewer with a dream-like flow of imagery, a careful attention to detail and an intense use of colours”, he asserts. Stradling is pretty honest on the reasons of portraying the male: “As a gay man I can only express myself through a gay man’s eyes”, but which connects with “people of all sexualities”.

+JoaoTrinidadeGiving a more geometrical, anatomical angle, Portuguese artist João Trindade dedicates himself to the male figure, but connecting it more with the space, particularly the contemporary cities space. Trindade acknowledges this collective passion: “The contemporary perception of the male human form is a fascination for me, I see it as a natural wonder”. But rather than the easy interpretation of this, we find an enthralling and laborious exercise of displaying the flesh in a sort of dramatic drawing, moving away from an obvious sexy take.

These three artists are reluctant to accept the label of gay or queer to their work, rather situating it into a broader context, one of human relations. “I hope to show my reflections and states of soul as a whole, as a human, as a sexual being” is the conception of Trindade in favour of a more open conception, which is somehow reflected at Tanriover words as well: “I am just a photographer that happens to be gay and my sexuality does not affect my images at conscious level but naturally it may feed itself into my work”. Both connect with Straddling, who speaks of “liberation of the LGBT audience”. In fact, there is a need for a less stereotyped perception of the male nude, and of those artists who produce it in all possible nuances. Notwithstanding the public opinion, it’s a common sense that the male image (nude or not) will remain as a recurrent paradigm for art in the near future, what is possibly missing is more people to admit it.

The artists will be exhibiting the works at Urban Myths, part of GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2014, which will feature many other artists. It happens from 10 to 22 November 2014, 11 am to 6 pm (Sunday closed) – Location: Menier Gallery, 51 Southwark Street London SE1 1RU Cost: FREE/ check for further information

 

Rare Dance Exchanges: The Multicultural Body in a Mythical Garb


By Helton Vilar

RADAPerformance
Kali Chandrasegaram & Justin McCarthy at RADA Studio as part of GFEST 2014 images credit: Simon Richardson and BrianaBlasko

Dance is the territory of multiculturalism. This thesis is proved to its extremes with both dancers invited to the 2014 GFEST – Gaywise FESTival performances in LONDON. From one side, Kali Chandrasegaram presents “S(He)-dom: Freedom versus He-or-She-dom”, a spectacle wherein multiple identities are performed on stage. Working in Britain for many years, the artiste uses aesthetic elements from different cultures, noticeably from the Asian dance – based on Oddissi style of performance, which requires an intense rehearsal and physical preparation, but incredibly results in a delicate, tender expression. This spectacle is part of a collaborative work with visual artist Brian Dennis and with the rap band Ajah UK.

On other side, in Mohini: God Becomes Enchantress, American-Indian performer Justin McCarthy, who also is a dance guru of the Indian tradition Bharatanatyam, shows in a world premiere, a beautiful choreography that unites various elements, but transforms it in a representation of myths involving gender, sexuality, and love. McCarthy has received much recognition in India for its discipline and proficiency in the rigorous Indian dance tradition, a work that he develops since 1979. This show has the collaboration from the artist and scholar M V Bhaskar, and features the melodious Karnatic music.

 

The Mythical Dance is part of the GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2014. It happens – at RADA Studio, 16 Chenies Street, London, WC1E 7EX, on 20 November 2014 at 7.30 pm

 

Gay Films Can Also Be Romantic


By Helton Vilar

In the middle of the night, a piano music is the background for the meeting of two lovers. They do not need to say anything, but a message becomes very clear. June is a silent short film directed by Canadian Aaron Chan. The beautiful photography is a highlight for this production at the last evening of GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2014 film screenings.

The Secret Path 73
a Still from feature drama The Secret Path
+June_Still2
A Still from short film June

The same environment of lyric and sweet romance gives the tone for The Secret Path, a historical drama. In the year 1810, Frank and Theo are two British navy soldiers in love, planning to escape an unbearable journey in a ship. An unexpected development happens when they both realise that escaping away is just the beginning of another struggle.

Both movies are interesting productions and show how the GLBT stories also may produce romantic, sensitive dramas focused on relationship, different of the stereotype of the sex-related productions.

In the last evening of the film sessions, the audience will have the chance to join a Q&A session with The Secret Path director Richard Mansfield. The screening of both movies happens on Tuesday, 18/11 at 8.15 pm at Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6LA