19/01/2024 - Permalink

News from our partners: Exhibition focus on county’s LGBQT+ community

Related topics: Leisure, culture and heritage / Partner organisations

News from our partners GRAIN Projects

A photographic exhibition focusing on older members of the LGBT+ community in the area and created by a Shropshire-based photographer is on display at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, and at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury.

Ming de Nasty had been commissioned to lead a project with older LGBT+ residents of Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin which will focus on identity and representation. The project provides an opportunity for individuals to tell their story and control their image.

A posh cup and saucer on a table

Ming de Nasty art

The LGBT+ Identity Collection is currently being exhibited at the two Shropshire Council venues.

People aged 50+ and part of the LGBT+ community were invited to attend workshops and to bring along photographs, photo albums, images or small objects that illustrate a story from their lives. Participants were then asked to share the story behind the item, which provides an oral history for the project.

Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, said:-

“Ming’s photography offers a different perspective, with individuals expressing a confidence and sense of identity in their gaze and position. The portraits she creates are acclaimed and award-winning and speak of diversity and challenging stereotypes.”

Ming said:-

“I am working with SAND and the arts organisation GRAIN Projects to create a study of what it is to be older and LGBT+ in Shropshire looking especially at identity and respect and I am really keen for people across Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin to be involved.

“The collaborative portraits were intended to become part of an LGBT+ archive for the two areas and as well as a curated selection for the public exhibition there will be a publication.”

The project’s publication is launched on Saturday 27 January 2024 and features writing and pictures of the subjects.

Sal Hampson, Director of SAND (Safe Ageing No Discrimination), added:-

““We are excited to be delivering this project with Ming de Nasty, the participants and GRAIN Projects. The process of taking part and the exhibition and publication outcomes will contribute to a future where lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin are fully integrated into the community. A community that values their experiences, meets their needs and offers appropriate personalised care as they age.”

For more information on the project and images please contact nicola.shipley@grainphotographyhub.co.uk

Further information

SAND is based in Shrewsbury and take a targeted approach to increasing LGBT+ inclusion, challenging discrimination, promoting accessibility and equality of opportunity for LGBT+ people ageing in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin. We work with the LGBT+ community and service providers to develop inclusive practice in general, while focussing on the particular experiences and needs of LGBT+ people.

SAND is a community organisation whose goal is to improve the experiences and increase the expectations of LGBT+ people as they age in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin. We believe that if we can identify and address the barriers that impact on LGBT+ wellbeing in later life, bring about change in organisations’ working practice, tap into influential policy making channels – then we can fundamentally influence the way in which LGBT+ people and those who care for them experience – and expect to experience – ageing.

The Office for National Statistics (2021 Census) tell us that there are 32,700 people over the age of 65 in Telford and 82,000 in Shropshire (by the way, this Shropshire figure is predicted to rise to 125,900 by 2043). Arguments abound over the number of LGBT people present in our populations but, conservatively, Lesbian and Gay populations can be said to range from 2.5 – 5.8% which means, in Shropshire Telford & Wrekin we are likely to have anywhere from 2,867 to 6,652 LGBT people over the age of 65, plus those who are Bisexual and Trans.  https://www.lgbtsand.com/

GRAIN Projects is a Midlands-based arts organisation specialising in contemporary photography.

GRAIN provides a platform, hub and network for photography and is involved with commissioning new ambitious work, curating and producing exhibitions and events, developing projects that are collaborative and that focus on community engagement, and delivering a range of high quality artist development and support programmes. GRAIN is supported by Arts Council England and Birmingham City University. www.grainphotographyhub.co.uk