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Come and give your old favourite piece of clothing a new lease of life! We’ll be coming up with new LGBTQ+ symbols and embroidering them on either your own clothes or fabrics provided. The workshop is open to all LGBTQ+ people of all ages (under 12’s need an accompanying adult). No previous experience is required.
✨Everything you need to know✨
Symbolic language has always been a way for LGBTQ+ people to communicate with each other to find safety in spaces where allies are needed. This can be through clothing, badges, hairstyles or other visual markers. Think the infamous Hanky Code – a visual language that was used by gay men to communicate their sexual preferences and availabilities with handkerchiefs of different colours displayed on different parts of their bodies.
Still today its important to have our own visual language to be visible and to recognise each other in public. To have your own visual language gives you the power to communicate with eachother, without others necessarily being in on the secret.
Fashion, clothes and accessories have long been a way to communicate identities and beliefs. That’s why we want to get together and to explore and create new symbols. We’ll then be embroidering these symbols on whatever we like – that could be our clothes, a fabric bag you like or a piece of fabric that you can turn into a small wall hanging.
The aim is to be able to put our finger on what it is that we have in common. We’ll be finding a way for us to express and define ourselves on our own terms, and using this expression to take the festival beyond the walls of the space and out into the wider world. It’ll be our little secret language to recognise each other in a sea of cis-het bullshit.
The workshop will start with a short introduction about the history and inspiration of how different queer symbols have been used before moving into designing and embroidering our new symbols. All materials necessary will be found on site but you are also welcome to bring your own clothes or whatever cloth-object you like to embroider on. You will also have the opportunity to make your embroidery into a wall hanging.
Esse McChesney is a queer textile artist in Gothenburg that works with weaving, fabric collages and embroidery🪡. In their work they investigte gender and sexuality from the point of being a queer non-binary transperso. Their work circles around gender and body; What do bodies have to do with gender? And where does gender identity exist outside the body and in feelings? In their work you can also find symbolism, a lot of color, abstractions and balance.
Esse has been responding to our work in The Queer Agenda and created the large scale textile sculpture hanging in the gallery space.