London Gay Art Festival GFEST 2015 was a Success

GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ® 2015



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The 8th GFEST – Gaywise FESTival ® came to a close this weekend after a successful two week run. The festival enjoyed a good turnout for its week-long visual art exhibition ASIAN FUTURE, challenging perceptions of Asian LGBTQI identities at London’s Menier Gallery. This was matched by a good turnout for GFEST’s TONAL FUTURE evening dedicated to gay composers past and present, with their compositions performed in St Pancras Parish Church by LGBT musicians. The corresponding panel discussions were also successful and well attended.

GFEST’s CINEMA FUTURA film screenings at ArtHouse Crouch End was sold out. GFEST’s special LGBT tour of Tate Modern, led by artist Michael Petry, was another successful, sold out event.

Niranjan Kamatkar, artistic director of GFEST commented: “We got a fabulous response from both the artists and audiences, saying that they thoroughly enjoyed participating in the events. It was all due to high quality artistic contributions, not only by the artists but also by the guest curators and programme advisors.”

Festival organisers and artists took the opportunity of GFEST to make several important statements. On the eve of Diwali, India’s festival of light, an appeal was made to British Prime Minister David Cameron. In a letter to the PM, GFEST’s Subodh Rathod urged David Cameron to discuss LGBT rights in India with the Indian PM, whose visit to Britain coincided with Diwali and with GFEST’s ASIAN FUTURE visual art exhibition. With GFEST’s TONAL FUTURE music concert taking place exactly one week from the horrific events of Paris, and with extremists in the Middle East killing LGBT people and destroying art, GFEST took a moment during the concert to show solidarity with the people of Paris and with LGBT people in Syria and beyond.

With this year’s festival, GFEST challenged its audiences to question and not blindly accept the status quo, with the theme: (Complacent Present)… Fragile Future? It turned out to be an especially pertinent, timely theme that highlighted a promising future for the LGBTQI artistic community.

GFEST will return next year – 2016 dates to be announced.

GFEST 2015 LGBT art tour at Tate Modern

GFEST- Gaywise FESTival 2015 music concert



GFEST 2015: Why it’s important to present gay composers’ music at London’s LGBT art festival

GFEST2015PerfEventbriteWhen we planned for GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2015 music concert, it was vital to ensure that we have selected a range of artists and musical works that reflect the theme for this year’s festival – (Complacent Present..)..Fragile Future? There is an element of complacency amongst both the audiences and the artists of classical music, to acknowledge the sexuality of some of the most eminent composers from past. Composers such as Tchaikovsky, Schubert or Britten whose works that have enriched and shaped the musical landscape. In selecting the work we also wanted to remember and recognise the sufferings of those such as Vladimir Horowitz or Francis Poulenc who were either forced to deny their sexuality or face possible prosecution. And as they say – ‘without a past there is no future’.

GFEST2014logoIn these financially challenging times for smaller voluntary art organisations like Wise Thoughts, it is very difficult to resource the creation of new work that may not be commercially viable, hence the only way forward, for us, seems to be to try and support artists ourselves. We hope the concert will inspire both composers, musicians and institutions, to create new works and engage with Wise Thoughts (the arts charity that organises GFEST) to showcase the works via GFEST or our other platforms.

All the money raised from the sale of music concert tickets will go towards setting up a fund to commission new works. We have kept the ticket prices very low – only £7 or £5 to help ensure we are able to encourage greater access particularly by new audiences for classical music. Audiences are also able to make an online donation when booking the tickets, and these too will help contribute to the fund.

WT-CCHlogoWe aim to commission a range of music from diverse genres.  Commissioning artists to create works that will be showcased at the next GFEST also enables them to develop work without fear of not having their voice heard or their creations not shared to a broader audience.

So we appeal everyone to purchase tickets and come and support the wonderful musicians who are performing for Tonal Future : Gulliver Ralston, Liam Bryne, The Korros Ensemble, Miles Lallemant, and Duncan Day. Please visit;   We hope people will be generous and make additional donations either via the booking link or via our own website or on the day. It would be a great to help spread the word about the concert via social media using the #TonalFuture and @GFEST. We need all the support we can get to help promote not just the concert but more importantly the fact that we are trying support the commissioning of new work.

BOOK the tickets for GFEST 2015 music concert



LA based director flew in to present his film at @GFEST in London

LA based director Michael J Saul is in London to present his film at GFEST 2015

Michael J Saul, the acclaimed director of gay feature drama ‘The Surface’ is now in London to present his UK premier at GFEST – Gaywise FESTival 2015.

The film screening will take place at ArtHouse Crouch End in London on Tuesday the 17th November at 8 pm.

Melbourne born Harry Hains, an emerging talent, stars in the film portraying a young man struggling to create his own sense of family.

GFEST 2015 artistic director Niranjan Kamatkar said. ” We are delighted that Michael will be here to present his coming-of-age film in London. This is a film that can inspire a number of LGBT young filmmakers and potential filmmakers.”

Director of ‘The Surface’ Michael J Saul added, “I am very excited for our UK premiere and very happy that I get to attend. I look forward to the audience reaction to the film.”

Book your place to watch The Surface.

The second night of GFEST 2015 film screenings showcases diverse short films on Wednesday the 18th November (8 pm) at ArtHouse Crouch End. Book to watch the short films programme.

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:

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:
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.


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:


LGBT History Month 2015 events started in Haringey, more to follow

LGBT History Month 2015 events started yesterday in Haringey, and are organised by art charity Wise Thoughts in Wood Green Library.

Events kicked off with ‘Queer art from the Tate Collection’ – an illustrated lecture by Marcus Dickey Horley. The lecture was very well-received  last night.

Some images from the event:

Work of Robert Mapplethorpe compared to Cecil Beaton’s as the part of the lecture
Keith Vaughan painting Small Assembly of Figures 1951
Sir Jacob Epstein’s sculpture Jacob and the Angel 1940
1984 work Existers by Gilbert and George.

Check for upcoming events at Wise Thoughts Creative Cultural Hub (CCH) on Thursdays: 12th February, there will be Book reading & Launch of the LBT Women+guests group and on 19 February Paradise Press authors book reading will take place.

Wise Thoughts what’s on events: