Meet the panellists who shortlisted this year's entries!
Our team of esteemed panellists was made up of individuals from across the whole spectrum of the LGBT+ community. From performers, writers, painters, models, activists, publishers and more, we were lucky to have this glittering ensemble of talented people shortlist our entries.
Lead by our three celebrity panellists, Denise Welch, Sue Perkins and Anna Richardson, the group had the tough but exciting job of reviewing all of our amazing submissions. Find out more about them below, and give them a follow to see more of their incredible work!
“Creativity has never been more important than it is now. It can provide us with ways to channel our energy in positive directions and can therefore have a very positive effect on our mental health and life in general. It has been exciting to see the work produced for FIFTY-TWO, much of it a unique catalogue of the creativity unleashed during lockdown."
Comedian and broadcaster - Twitter
“It’s great to be supporting Pride In London’s first Queer Art Exhibition and to have the opportunity to see so much beautiful work from the LGBTQ community in London.”
“If art is a representation of life and the struggle of life, then what greater struggle is there than that of identity? Our identity reflects our soul, who we are, and our place in the world - it goes without saying that shining a light on Queer Art is crucial, and that we should be hearing the voices behind it loud and clear.”
"Queer people have always set the trends, vanguards and visions of art - many times without that recognition - so it feels exciting to get to be part of this process now."
"I am grateful for the ingenuity of queer artists. During this time of stifled movement and diminished space to express ourselves, we have found ways to create art, stretch our limbs, show our craft, and make some money."
"It’s crucial for us to honour queer artists’ legacy by continuing to express the queer experience, celebrating our freedom to be visible artists and documenting the evolution of work for future generations!"
"As the art curator for Pride in London’s first pop up shop and exhibition in Soho a few years ago, I am delighted to support this exhibition and be among the judging panel reviewing its submissions."
"I feel that this is a wonderful opportunity to explore one's queer expression where members of the LGBTQ+ community have a platform to extend and broaden their reach to new audiences."
"It's especially important for LGBTQ+ people to feel free to express themselves, and art has historically been one of the most important outlets. I'm thrilled, therefore, to be involved with this exhibition, now more than ever, a bit of colour and creativity is much needed."
"As an art lover and an activist, I've found that queer art not only has the power to be expressive and cathartic, but revolutionary and empowering. As a woman of colour and an aromantic-asexual person, it's an honour to provide that representation on the Fifty-Two panel."
“Through this event, Pride in London is giving a platform to queer artists so their art can be judged intersectionally, without barriers, and be celebrated by everyone.”
"Queer art is an act. Often a political piece that can step outside the bounds queer people often find themselves contained to. It's so important, purposeful and a significant part of the queer agenda. Everyone can connect to art in some way and it's that, which makes it powerful."
"For queer people, family is so often made up of friends, and home is not always the place that understands you best. The closure of our venues, spaces, networks and events is going to have a huge impact on our community. Art doesn't solve this problem, but loud visual messages that shout 'You are not alone!' are needed more than ever right now."
"Queer art is extremely vital because it forms the basis of our LGBT+ history. So much of our history have been loss due to homophobia. It gives our community a sense of pride seeing work documented."
"The more visible we are, the more people will feel safe to be who they really are. Those that are able to stand and be counted can lead as an example to others and help change our environment to ensure it is welcoming of difference."
"It is important that queer artists are recognised because there is so much on offer from people of all different identities. Without queer art, our community would struggle to share our experience and connect with each other in the wonderful ways in which we do today."
Artist, writer and filmmaker - Instagram
"Making art is like alchemy, transforming difficult and emotional experiences into gold. As LGBTQIA+ people we can transcend our struggles to create art with greater depth and substance."
"I believe that in the times we are going through there is once again a real need for 'Queer Art'. With the resurgence of interest from the art establishment in painting, I believe the time is right for an explosion of 'Queer Art'"
"Our artists have always been at the forefront of hope; inspiring new ways of experiencing the world. Whether it’s work that encourages social justice, or presents to the world that there is beauty in transgression. Our art is one of the ways we can express our narratives, and in the spirit of pride, protest the cards that we have been dealt."