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Kimpton Clocktower Hotel is announcing a brand new free art exhibition, a celebration of the power and beauty of qu..r artistry.

Kimpton Clocktower Hotel is announcing a brand new free art exhibition, a celebration of the power and beauty of qu..r artistry.

Kimpton Clocktower Hotel is announcing a brand new free art exhibition, a celebration of the power and beauty of queer artistry, in partnership with queer art collective Friends of Dorothy, opening this June in line with Pride month.

Under the guidance of Rob Devlin, Friends of Dorothy is an innovative art project focussed on inclusivity and artistic expression, dedicated to amplifying the voices of queer artists and fostering connections within the LGBTQ+ community. From its humble beginnings as a lockdown-inspired project in 2021, Friends of Dorothy has evolved into a dynamic force, showcasing the vibrant tapestry of queer artistry within the vibrant cities of Manchester and Los Angeles.

A proud partner of the queer community and supporter of Northern talent, Kimpton Clocktower will host an art collection by 16 of Friends of Dorothy’s Manchester-based artists, a diverse mix of established and new and emerging talent. 

Open from 7pm on Thursday  6th June, the exhibition will show a diverse range of artworks, created by multi-platform artists all linked by queer art and talent. 

Named in loving memory of Rob's late mother, Dorothy Devlin, and playfully nodding to the bonds of the LGBTQ+ community, Friends of Dorothy stands as a testament to resilience, creativity, and unity.

List of artists featured:

Asche: A photographer and Image Maker, is renowned for their groundbreaking work in fashion photography and performance art. With a unique blend of artistic vision and social commentary, Asche's creations transcend traditional boundaries, embodying the essence of contemporary art while reflecting profound cultural narratives.

Beth Garrigan: A multidisciplinary creative whose work primarily focuses on femme queerness, working class culture and queer intimacy. Under the name DYKE TRASH she creates and sells graphic illustrations and collages.

David Hoyle: A pioneering queer artist, challenging societal norms through performance and activism, pushing boundaries in drag, cabaret, and spoken word. A fearless advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, he uses his art to provoke thought and inspire change.

Freya Wynice: A dynamic queer artist exploring the intersection of identity and art through photography, with a focus on authentic representations of queerness. She co-creates Dyke Trash, an online platform for queer art and is the director of Sapphic, where she fosters a vibrant community for queer artists in Manchester.

James Unsworth: James Unsworth was born in Liverpool in 1979 and studied at Winchester School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. A visual artist with numerous collections, including the Walker Art Gallery (National Museums Liverpool), MoMa, New York and the UBS Art Collection.

Jen Orpin: Her work having just been acquired by Manchester Art Gallery, Jen is an  artist based at Rogue Artists’ Studios with work held in public and private collections nationally and internationally and has exhibited UK wide. She's featured in the Guardian/Observer, selected for the Royal Academy Summer Show, has had two UK solo shows with her first international solo show in Seoul this year.

Jez Dolan: A boundary-pushing queer artist challenging norms through his provocative work in performance and visual arts. With a focus on LGBTQ+ themes, he captivates audiences with his bold and thought-provoking creations. Dolan fearlessly advocates for inclusivity and diversity in the art world, sparking important conversations.

Jordan Taylor: An anti-disciplinary artist working across print, thread and fashion. Their work teeters from intimate hand embroideries, to playful twists on digitally embroidered garments, and riotous crochet assemblages. In 2018 they co-founded PageMasters, a sustainable, affordable, experimental print studio. In 2022 they expanded to found ThreadMaidens, working with artists to create bespoke digital embroideries. They regularly run workshops and events with partners including Tate, South London Gallery and most recently curated the PageMasters Print Residency at May Day Rooms.

Karol Kochanowski: Born in Poland in 1986, now based in Manchester, UK, his abstract oil paintings reflect the oddness of the observed world, exploring subconsciousness; Winner of Manchester Open Award 2020 and Ken Billany Prize 2013. Exhibited in London, New York, Berlin, Raleigh, and Manchester, his works engage viewers in unique visual dialogues.

Lee Baxter: Lee explores themes of nature, the built environment and culture through his dynamic creations.  With a keen eye for detail, he merges traditional and contemporary techniques to craft his artwork. Baxter's work serves as a bridge between past and present, inviting viewers to reflect on the human experience.

Lyle Hoang: An emerging talent, Lyleinfuses his art with a fresh perspective on identity and belonging. Through his unique blend of mediums, he crafts evocative pieces that resonate with audiences.

Rachael Field: A versatile artist who explores the intricacies of human emotion through her evocative creation; with a focus on storytelling, she breathes life into her work, inviting viewers to embark on a journey of introspection.

Rebekah Beasley: Co-director at Short Supply, Islington Mill, Salford, she looks into bodies, gender, and sexuality through fantasy and narration. Her recent works explore movement, wearability, and the performance in process, guided by the motto: "Sometimes it takes more energy doubting yourself than just doing it."

Dr. Sarah-Joy Ford: Artist and scholar, delves into queer communities through textiles, blending digital and traditional techniques like quilting and digital embroidery. Recognized with an NWDTCP award for her PhD on quilting's emotional impact on British lesbian archives, she exhibits internationally, with upcoming shows including ""RABBIT"" at Bury Art Museum.

Smart Barnett: A visionary artist, intricately blending technology and tradition in his dynamic creations. With a forward-thinking approach, he explores the intersection of art and innovation, pushing the boundaries of conventional expression. 

Will Belshah: A creative powerhouse, merges ingenuity with artistry to craft compelling visual experiences. With a passion for innovation, he pushes boundaries, redefining the possibilities of contemporary art. Belshah's work captivates audiences, leaving a lasting impression with its boldness and originality.

Kelly Andreasson, Hotel Manager of Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, says: “As part of the Kimpton family and neighbours to Manchester’s iconic gay village, we are honoured to be hosting this collection of artworks by LGBTQ+ creators. We are grateful to Rob and Friends of Dorothy for the opportunity and can’t wait for our guests and customers of Refuge to experience it between June and our annual Clocktower Pride celebration, the Come as You Are weekend in August.” 

The Friends of Dorothy exhibition will be free and open to the public on the walls of Refuge, Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, from 7pm on Thursday 6th June until 1st September. 

Published: 22-May-2024: (7489) Top Stories

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