Rewarding trek to the London Lighthouse gallery to enjoy GPN’s latest annual photography exhibition. A diverse show of prints, videos and slide shows by photographers of the GPN, the Gay Photographers Network. There’s no overall theme to the exhibition, all the images are intensely personal with a refreshing absence of group-think.
I have fond memories of the GPN meeting in March 2020, which was the last organised event I participated in before everything stopped. Great news that GPN has re-emerged and with a strong exhibition.
My reworking of the exhibition’s poster with screengrabs of some of the artists from the guided walkaround
AndroTechne present their debut digital exhibition this autumn in a three dimensional online virtual space of three connected rooms, each having a different theme and feel. The advanced technology creating the virtual exhibition space makes it possible to “walk” around the exhibition, stop and browse where you feel you wish to. Meanwhile some exhibits animate and some play music. This gives quite the best integrated feel to media such as video or abstract virtual images along with traditional paint and flat images. There’s immediately a “wow!” factor, the technology is not off-puttingly clunky and it presents well this exhibition which is very rich in ideas and innovation.
My photo set “Eleven and Eighteen” on display in the Photo Fringe 2020 exhibition, based in Brighton. My set is occasionally on their front page, which displays a selection of contributions in a seemingly random order. Refresh and reload (on their site) to change the selection.
Mike Arlen in conversation with Peter Paul Hartnett at Gay Photographers Network, London
Mike Arlen is one of the rare surviving giants of English gay history of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. His features were an essential part of gay men’s photo magazines, the sort that were sold in a plain brown envelope because it was impossible to show the cover in public for fear of outing or provoking a homophobic attack. Mike Arlen is not his real name, it turns out Mike’s freedom as a photographer was based on his wide experience as a journalist and photographer for popular magazines for the female audience: She, Woman’s Own etc. Mike told us stories of his meetings with Bassey, Bowie, Elvis and many more. He conformed to the conventions of the time by never mentioning anything contentious in his showbiz reporting, so Rock Hudson was never stated to be gay until the end.