On this page are a few examples of work which I have created over the last few years.
PRIDE FOR THE FALLEN
Egg tempera and shell gold on a traditional gesso panel.
This painting explores UK LGBTQI+ history. Within the compositon are references to those who have suffered due to their sexual orientation, such as Oscar Wilde, and significant dates relating to LGBTQI+ adversity and progress.
Shell gold is genuine powdered gold (in this case 22.9 carat) mixed with gum arabic. It is used in a similar way to watercolour, and is then burnished to create a shiny surface when dry. I use shell gold in areas where the paint layers have been cut back to the gesso layer in order to create different light an texture effects throughout the painting.
AS THE WHEEL TURNS.
2017. Egg tempera and shell gold on a traditional gesso panel.
This painting combines Pagan symbolism with an exploration of my experiences of being a wheelchair user in London - good and bad.
The Beech leaves symbolise knowledge, and the Spider is a weaver of fate.
HOSPITAL AND SOCIAL CARE.
In August 2016 paralysis caused by a very adverse reaction to medication caused me to spend five months in hospital, and a further few months in a nursing home. Thankfully, the paralysis eventually lifted, and I am living independently again. In January 2017 I was able to start painting again, and began to explore my experiences. I was frightened to be open about being a Lesbian while within hospital and nursing home communities, and when I was open about my sexuality I experienced Homophobia. Conversation with others suggests that discrimination of the LGBT community within social and medical care is widespread. In an exploration of my thoughts and emotions about my experiences I created a series of paintings and poems.
Left: Detail of THE ART OF SURVIVAL (2017).
THE ART OF SURVIVAL
May 2017. Egg tempera on a traditional gesso panel.
Image size 16" x 16" (40.5cm x 40.5 cm).
In the summer of 2016 I was given some medication that I should not have been treated with. This caused months of paralysis and led to my lack of ability to speak.
Not surprisingly when I found that my paralysis had been medication induced (after the medication was stopped) this was something that was very difficult to deal with emotionally. I had been bed-bound as a result of taking this medication for nine months.
I decided to explore my thoughts and emotions in my creative work, and this painting, and my poem of the same title, are the result.
JOURNEY OF A MAY FEMME
2016. Egg tempera on a traditional gesso panel. Framed image size 49cm x 49cm
"Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it". These words by Confucius are especially true of those who identify as both disabled and LGBT+. This painting combines Celtic mythology and LGBT symbols to tell my own story. The painting explores my journey from a closeted Lesbian to the beauty and freedom of embracing my sexuality and disability. Within Celtic mythology the fox symbolises passion, the beech tree symbolises knowledge, and the birch tree symbolises renewal and new beginnings.
This painting is a runner-up in the 2016 Emerald Winter Pride Art Awards. An exhibition of featured artists, 5 finalists and 25 runners-up is being held at the Islington Arts Factory from 15th -29th April 2016.
This painting is now owned by the Proud2Be group, Totnes, Devon.
Peter Tatchell being interviewed
at the Emerald Winter Pride Art
Awards Open View.
15th April 2016.
Photo: Tania Olive
2016 Egg tempera on a traditional gesso panel. Image size 52cm x 52cm.
This painting combines images from the poetry of the ancient Greek poet Sappho, with others exploring modern social perceptions of Lesbians and disability. I also invite the viewer to question cultural perceptions of beauty as a nude figure in a wheelchair is part of the composition.
In Sappho's poetry Sparrows pull the chariots of Venus. Other images from Sappho's words that inspired this painting are apples and apple groves, roses and "muses with beautiful hair"
2015 Mixed media on a traditional gesso panel. Image size 30cm c 42cm.
A lack of social awareness and prejudice can create difficulties for people with disabilities to find friendships and partnerships. These difficulties can be compounded if the person is also LGBT+. This painting explores these barriers.
This painting was exhibited at Artpride 2015. In his review of the exhibition Edward Lucie-Smith wrote
"There is, of course, still a necessary polemic in gay art, especially when it deals with disability. This show contains a remarkable work called Barriers, by the disabled Lesbian artist Heather Carol. But this is primarily a symbolic, poetic statement, and the basic message is not specifically LGBT. You can construe what you see in quite a number of ways".