Visual Culture graduate Kate Wildblood creates iconic collages for LGBT arts festival.
31 Jul 2013
A range of images created by recent Visual Culture BA(Hons) graduate Kate Wildblood have featured in the Icons exhibition at Brighton's Jubilee Library. The exhibition is part of Brighton’s new Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) arts festival - one of the Brighton Pride events taking place this summer.
The images Kate has created are based on her dissertation. She said: “I am honoured that my work sits alongside artists including Keith Haring and Mark Vessey. The purpose of Pride, for me, has always been more than a party; it’s about celebrating the people of Brighton and our shared pride in our city.
“The Icons exhibition is a perfect reflection of that pride and a showcase for the artistic achievements of our seaside city.”
Kate spent most of her professional career either DJing within or writing about LGBT cultural and social life, so when she became a mature student at Brighton University Faculty of Arts in 2010, it was perhaps destined that she would bring something queer to her Visual Culture degree.
Her dissertation topic, Strike A Pose, There’s Something To It: Imagery in gay clubbing 1989-2013 examines the event flyer designs of Club Shame, Trade and Wild Fruit, showing how they reflected the 1970s Gay Liberation movement along with the challenges of the 1980s and early 1990s when HIV and AIDS dominated the public, political and media perceptions and portrayals of gay men.
Kate explained: "In creating new images or subverting existing images for their own ends, gay flyer designers signified certain meanings, rooted in historical context, that connect the viewer to a particular aspect of gay culture, be they childhood memories, icons, subcultures or ideals of gay male beauty.
“By visually representing my research through the collages Trading Poses and Fruity Benders, I too re-appropriated the images of gay clubbing to create further layers of meaning. Having spent so long surrounded by gay clubbing imagery I was keen to strike new poses with the material and to represent the rich queer history we have all played a part in developing. If you will excuse the puns, I wanted to Trade in the glorious Fruit-iness of it all.”
As part of Brighton Pride, Kate has also been showing her support the LGBT population in Russia who are currently unable to freely express themselves under Vladimir Putin's government.
Together with fellow Brighton graduate Karol Michalec, Kate has come up with a design which can be reproduced on T-shirts, posters and screensavers. In return for design downloads, they are inviting donations to All Out, an international campaign group for LGBT equality.