Cornwall Gay Sculpture LGBT History Exhibits 2016
Watch the above youtube video
Cornwall artist ‘Open Studio’ exhibition of sculptures of ‘same-sex historical persons
‘some’ would eradicate entirely from LGBT history’
A LGBT HISTORY MONTH PROJECT Feb 2016
“Religion, belief & philosophy”
‘Damnatio memoriae’:- a Latin phrase literally meaning "condemnation of memory". Originally a decree passed by intolerant Roman Senate that a person must not be remembered and to be erased from memory & history.
For centuries LGBT same-sex history & figures have been subject of purges and persecution by homophobic religious institutions, dogmatic anti-homosexual political ideology, anti-gay police and/or by those who would simper & faun to mob culture in attempts to demonise or eradicate recognition of same-sex relationships & LGBT person’s lives & culture.
A reasonable person may think in C21st UK given ‘theoretical’ legal advances in LGBT equality that bigoted homophobic prejudice was a thing of the past?
It may then come as a shock to some that, a Devon, Exeter based organisation, which receives over £200,000+/annum from various sources (public accounts 2014) decreed in their own form of de facto damnatio memoriae to wipe out & eradicate iconic Cornwall based artist Henry Scott Tuke RA from all reference & inclusion in Cornish/Cornwall LGBT history.
NB: Henry Scott Tuke, RA RWS (12 June 1858 – 13 March 1929), is a highly regarded and iconic C19th/20th artist, who had made his home in Falmouth, Cornwall.
An early member of the Newlyn School of art, and elected Associate of the Royal Academy in 1900 and Royal Academician in 1914. His most notable work in the Impressionist style, and best known for his ‘En plein air’ paintings of nude young men. Tuke, like Oscar Wilde, Edward Carpenter, John Addington Symonds, George Ives, Lord Alfred Douglas, Fredrick Rolfe was an advocate of Uranian society & poetry, a form of homosexual expression in a homophobic Edwardian culture
The Royal Cornwall Polytechnic Society owns 279 Tuke paintings. The Tate Gallery owning a collection of Tuke photographs. Sir Elton John, an avid collector of Tuke paintings lent Truro Royal Cornwall Museum a number of his Tuke paintings for a retrospective exhibition. The student halls of residence at University College Falmouth named after Tuke, a tribute to him as both an artist, and a famous resident of the town.
However, the Devon based group, (which dictate considerable influence & control over available LGBT funding in the south west), condemned respected Cornwall C19th artist Henry Scott Tuke for his creating paintings of nude young men.
Respected Art, History & museum experts alike seemingly almost all agree that Tuke’s body of paintings are not lascivious or explicit in a sexual nature. Despite being nude paintings few Tuke images feature any genitalia or portray any physical contact between the subject models.
A further irony being had Tuke & his models been painting today it would be perfectly legal under UK law for Tuke if so inclined to even lawfully marry almost any of his male models at the ages they then modelled for him. (One of whom went on to play Rugby for England)
Even a written appeal from International Human Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell to the Devon group to withdraw their Cornwall Tuke ban fell upon deaf ears of the Devon group. Obdurate fanaticism has continued in the particular Devon group’s determination to erase adopted son of Cornwall, artist Henry Scott Tuke, entirely from Cornish/Cornwall LGBT historical reference.
Some local persons from Cornwall who voiced objection to the banning of Henry Scott Tuke from Cornish/Cornwall LGBT history found themselves target & subjected to deeply vindictive and very personal attacks from the Devon based group & from others associated with them. Previous verocity of the Devon groups attack on at least one gay person contributing to their attempted suicide.
This subsequently caused Malcolm Lidbury a contemporary Cornwall artist & gay man to consider what other iconic mythological or historical figures this Devon group may also attempt to erase ‘Damnatio memoriae’ from LGBT same-sex relationship history (most of which relationships may have been either perfectly lawful & legal in their day or culturally acceptable at the time. Alternately, were illegal at the time, but likely to be perfectly legal in their country of origin or in much of the European Union today)
Lidbury said “The more I researched, the more iconic historic same-sex relationship LGBT persons I found that the Devon group dogma, based upon their reasoning for banning TUKE, they would also erase entirely from LGBT same-sex history.
One cannot help but conclude the Devon group would also advocate tearing up the works of Oscar Wilde, whitewashing Michelangelo’s Sistine chapel ceiling, selling for scrap value the British Museum Warren Cup, slashing Da Vinci’s canvas of the Mono Lisa & tearing down Emperor Hadrian’s wall, eradicating Turing’s contribution to computing, erase both Whitman’s & Byron’s poetry & destroying the science fiction writing of Arther C Clarke, tearing up the art of Paul Cadmus & burning the Edward Carpenter historical archive, to name but a few
The Devon group condemnation of Tuke for speculative relationships which today would be perfectly legal in the UK, means they would also condemn Tom Daley (olympic swimmer) and his partner Lance Black for their 20yr age difference, as well as Stephen Fry (actor) & Elliot Spencer for their 30yr age difference, as well as a few other contemporary gay celebraties with disparate age relationships, not to mention any gay many with an eye for twinks
….as ALL of these due to the nature of or perceptions of their sexuality &/or same-sex age disparate relationships, the Devon based group would seemingly also advocate eradicating from LGBT history?
The Devon based groups dogmatic intolerant attitude to Cornish Art, History & LGBT culture seemingly little better than that of those widely condemned for destroying the Buddha’s of Bamiyan in Afghanistan or destroyed the historic cultural mausoleums in Timbuktu, Mali.
The Cornwall FREE Open Studio LGBT History 2016 Exhibition consists of composite sculptures of mythical, religious & historical LGBT figures which (rightly or wrongly) are known, accredited or alluded to having same-sex relationships in their lifetimes/histories.
The artist also intends the sculptures as a metaphor.
Gay equality & protection in law may seem firmly cast, but the ebb & flow of LGBT history demonstrates the pendulum of homophobic prejudice has a nasty habit of swinging back. For example, one only has to think of very liberal attitude towards LGBT persons in Berlin in the early 1930’s. However within a few short years an estimated 100,000 LGBT persons had been rounded up & arrested, some 10,000 LGBT persons subsequently sent to the Nazi death camps by German police & judicial system.
The Cornwall exhibition sculptures ‘look’ like they are solidly cast in Bronze. In reality only a thin skin veneer of bronze patina paint covers up very fragile composite assemblage construction beneath. The sculptures armature maquette construction made of paper, foil, plastic, cardboard, wood, plasticine & found objects etc.
The sculptures every bit as fragile as is 'theoretical' LGBT protection in European Human Rights & UK equality & diversity law which is fequently disregarded by homophobic Devon & Cornwall police & Cornwall authorities.
The historical LGBT figures for whom their same-sex relationships (real or alluded, purported too), the Devon based group seemingly would eradicate, as they have with Henry Scott Tuke, from any inclusion in same-sex LGBT history.
Almost all authority funding in Cornwall for LGBT projects sucked & hoovered up by the Devon group (which has banned Tuke), & with gay prejudice as it is in Cornwall, no available place found to house the exhibition. The Cornwall artist funded the Cornwall LGBT history sculpture project 2016 entirely himself as an ‘Open Studio’ event.
The artists FREE Open Studio Cornwall LGBT history project 2016 sculpture exhibition in Cornwall is Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th Feb. 2016. Valentines weekend
NB: Photographic images of some of the sculptures available under Creative Commons license on Wikipedia Commons for Copyright Free use to other educational & benevolent Art, History & LGBT projects
Go to INDEX
Sculpture by Lidbury
of TE Lawrtence & Dahoum (Selim Ahmed)
Sculpture by Lidbury
of Alexander the Great & Hephaestion