It's been five decades since the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales. To mark the 50th anniversary milestone, The Photographers’ Gallery is hosting a new off-site exhibition at City Hall from tomorrow (5 July).
Love Happens Here recognises the historic struggle of the LGBTIQI movement and shares a range of photographs on London’s LGBTIQI community and culture, spanning the 50 years since the milestone legislation was introduced, paving the way for the steady progression towards equality for the gay community within British law.
Documentation of early Pride marches are provided by Ian David Baker, who acted as an art editor and commissioner for various Gay magazines in the 1980s. Reggie Blennerhassett’s snapshots from inside the Greater London Council’s Lesbian and Gay Centre, allow a candid insight into the pioneering Labour funded space. When the centre was established in a disused meat warehouse in Cowcross Street in 1984 it was the largest single project any public body had financed for the lesbian and gay community.
Sunil Gupta’s reflective collage project 'Pretended' Family Relationships mixes poetry, photographs of protest against Section 28 and portraits of couples in their London homes. Emily Rose England’s work is an ode to the currency of London’s vibrant club scene by a photographer who also organises Sassitude club night. Gender, sexuality identity and global politics are addressed through Anthony Luvera, Kate Elliott and Tania Olive’s studied portraiture of Londoners from the LGBTIQI community.
The font used for the exhibition graphics is, appropriately, Gilbert. Available through the US not-for-profit organisation, Creative Commons, it was designed to commemorate Gilbert Baker (1951 – 2017) the artist, gay rights activist and designer of the iconic rainbow flag in 1978.
Love Happens Here is curated by Karen McQuaid at The Photographers’ Gallery, for the Mayor of London. Kicking off on 5 July, the exhibition will run at City Hall until 28 July 2017.
Main image: Emily Rose England, Inside London’s Enduring Queer Club Scene, 2016 © Emily Rose England. Courtesy the artist