Young people in Humankind’s LGBT+ North East project gathered at the Gala Theatre in Durham last night for a viewing of their exhibition of paintings and pictures exploring gender and identity.
A group of eight people aged between 13 and 24 worked for 4 months meeting once a month at the Gala with North East artists Nicola Singh and Phyllis Christopher, to produce the works entitled “Beneath the Mask – Another Mask.”
The inspiration for the work was the exhibition ‘Beneath This Mask’ – a series of 1930s photographic prints by French Artist Claude Cahun investigating gender and identity in photos.
LGBT+ North East workers organised a visit to see that exhibition at the Gala last Autumn and the young people told them they were keen to bring their own thoughts to the subject. Seeing their enthusiasm, the charity got in touch with Durham County Council, which funded the art project.
LGBT+ North East Project leader Billijean Summerbell, of Humankind, said: “The young people got so much out of this experience. It has had a really positive effect – it’s been a perfect outlet.
“And we’re so proud of what they’ve achieved. The exhibition is very moving.”
Zac, one of our young service users who produced several piece of work for the exhibition, said: "I've made friends, I've done things that I would not have done without being part of this exhibition. It's definitely helped in part make me who I am today. I feel a bit more confident."
The exhibition runs until, Sunday 17 March, 2019.