From taxidermy that examines masculinity, to visceral photography of queerness, we take a look at the hottest LGBT artists showing today.
Photography Laurence Philomene
This year we have seen a myriad of special cultural events marking fifty years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK. Works by artists who lived in times where their voices weren't recognised or accepted were proudly hung on the walls of Tate Britain as part of the first retrospective of Queer British Art. Channel 4 and the BBC's 50 Shades of Gay and Gay Britannia seasons reflected on the sacrifices made by past generations and looked to the future. With queer stories being told on platforms that once seemed beyond our reach, and a record number of LGBT MPs elected this summer, you would be forgiven for dreaming that maybe, just maybe, the worst days are behind the UK's queer community.
But while the number of LGBTQ events and programmes this year is undoubtedly encouraging, it does serve as an uncomfortable reminder of how rare it is to see queer stories told on mainstream platforms. This year's Pride season also revealed how tone-deaf many brands and intuitions still are when communicating with LGBTQ people. This is why queer people telling their own stories in ways that are relevant to them is so important. Contributions by queer people, and particularly those who are marginalised within the LGBTQ community, must be recognised and celebrated every year, not just on special anniversaries. But out of the struggle, a radical wave of young queer artists are continuing to question the status quo. We spoke to five artists who use their work to discuss the complex challenges and issues surrounding their identity and the wider queer community.