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.
For me Angus Stewart’s portraits “There’s more to me than HIV” were the outstanding prints on show, he features both male and female subjects and communicates a great deal of the character of his sitters. I also enjoyed David Cook’s set of multiple exposures “For the love of David”, achieved with live projection on to model David’s body of previously captured images of the same model.
Only one set of portraits, contributed by Steve Powers, creatively features the now ubiquitous face masks. “Boys of Tiger Bay”, is Alec Lermon’s squeaky-clean album sleeve image for a would-be Boy Band from Cardiff. Others contributed semi-abstract works and there were some accomplished formal male nudes.
I’ve mentioned just a few of the many engaging images by members of this group - twenty-five photographers have each contributed several images to the exhibition. Maybe the content is a bit less edgy than previous shows (your Maiden Aunt might have a giggle but she won’t be seriously shocked) but there is plenty of variety and clearly much thought and care has gone in to the creation of these distinctive images.
Quite worth the visit, also to be in awe of the massive changes to the urban landscape that you see you see as you emerge from Canning Town station.
Disclosure: I am a member of GPN but chose not to contribute this time round.
GPN Exhibition 2021 continues at the London Lighthouse Gallery, London City Island E14 OSZ until 30th November 2021: it’s a bright, warm space and there’s a studio in the same unit. Nearest tube Canning Town (Jubilee Line & DLR).