Art to question what it means to be queer goes on display

Steven Sheath Wilson, student curator. (C) University of Dundee

A NEW exhibition which explores what it means to be queer was opened to the public yesterday evening.

‘The Queer Dot’ which features artwork relating to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans, non-binary and queer experiences is designed and curated by eleven students and graduates from the University’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD).

 The exhibition invites the public to look at life through a queer lens and question what they think they know about ‘being queer’.

Steven Sheath Wilson, student curator, said: “Queer has a complicated past, it has led to key moments in history such as the Stonewall riots and the reclaiming of the Pink triangle, which was at first a mark of shame but then reappropriated as a symbol of positive identity.

“Queer rights and queer-identifying people have always been around in history but it’s just often missing from the history books.

“We hope our exhibition will shed light on contemporary queer concerns. The title itself is a play on the phrase ‘the year dot’, meaning the first day in history, drawing attention to the fact that queer people, however marginalised and isolated from society, have always been around and will continue to be.”

It was officially launched by a panel discussion on what it means to be queer in 2019 and chaired by DJCAD student Cal Kaha McKeon.

The panel included former graduate and creator of the Trans Sport Initiative in Dundee, Alex Muir, the convenor of Trans Pride Scotland, Alex Robin Gardener, podcasters Sekai Machache and Matthew Dowdall, PhD student Margarita Kalamara as well as the Head of Exhibitions at the Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA), Eion Dara.

Eion said, “Queer identity and discourse is happily in constant flux, so a discussion on what it means to be queer is one that will always be important. 

“With conservative and right-wing rhetoric and activity on the rise across Europe, it feels vital right now to be actively participating in conversations concerning (and highlighting) marginalised voices.

“Queer people are still rarely afforded the opportunity to speak openly and safely in public, so it’s up to educational and civic institutions like The University of Dundee and DCA to create safe spaces and platforms that can nurture and amplify these voices.”

The exhibition will run 22 to 24 April at Cooper Gallery Project Space.
Opening hours: 11am – 5pm.

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