Thursday, June 20, 2013

David Shenton: Cartoons of Gay Life and Death

Space Station 65 in Kennington is currently hosting These Foolish Things, an exhibition of works by cartoonist/illustrator David Shenton. Shenton's work has been featured in the UK gay press since the late 1970s,  in publications such as Gay News and Capital Gay, as well  in a range of other papers and magazines from Positive Nation to The Guardian. 

As Graham McKerrow writes: 'Shenton's cartoons are often camp but they're not just camp, and they're not that awful apolitical offensive camp, but a light, knowing, meaningful camp; their first task is to entertain and to make the audience laugh - and often they do much more because the liberation politics that informs his work means that with the laugh there is an acerbic point - a wry observation on how we live or a satirical comment about society and a wider political context, contained in the lives and musings of plausible and likeable characters'.

David Shenton's knitted medals, featuring the lyrics of 'I Will Survive'

On a more sober note there is a series of images commemorating victims of homophobia including this one which highlights some London murders. Gerry Edwards was killed at his home in Page Heath Villas in Bromley in 2009; David Cooper was killed in Calderwood Street, Woolwich in the previous year. Edward Highwood was murdered in Hollymount Close, Greenwich. Ian Baynham (from Beckenham), was beaten to death in Trafalgar Square in 2009 by Joel Alexander (from Thornton Heath) and Ruby Thomas (from Anerley).

Space Station 65, 373 Kennington Road, SE11 

The exhibition continues until 27 July, open Thursday-Saturday 12.00–18.00 (admission free). Next week on 28th June, the artist will be giving a tour and he will also be giving a talk on the final day of the exhibition.

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