Writer, artist and academic Theo Gordon and Catwalk4Power member Charity, lead you through the queer history of Clapham and Brixton, paying special attention to activism and the AIDS crisis. The tour will explore art made in the United States between 1987 and 1996 which addressed the socio–political crisis that was the AIDS epidemic, with particular focus on the invisibility of women in discourses surrounding HIV and AIDS.
This tour will start at Studio Voltaire, exploring Brixton and Clapham before finishing at the Two Brewers.
About the contributors:
Theo is an independent writer, artist and academic working in London. He gained his PhD from The Courtauld Institute of Art in 2018, this focused on art of the AIDS crisis the UK and USA in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
Catwalk4Power is a community-building initiative, led by Positively UK Women and Act Up London Women with a focus on how HIV/AIDS impacts on women’s lives. The activism generated by this community group raises public awareness of HIV stigma, inequality and power through the framework of fashion. The project carries a strong political message while recognising the resilience and strength of women living with HIV.
This series of summer walking tours invites artists, writers, academics and activists to reflect on aspects of the work of David McDiarmid, including his Rainbow Aphorisms series, which is currently installed across sites in Clapham, Brixton and on the London Underground as part of Clapham Public Realm Programme, in partnership with Art on the Underground and This is Clapham.
Rainbow Aphorisms is a series of printed multiples, beginning in 1993 and ending in 1995 when the artist died of AIDS–related illnesses. McDiarmid produced these works in response to his own–and his community’s–experience of the AIDS crisis and the multiple forms of devastations through which it manifests; from the political and medical to the emotional and intellectual.
Using Rainbow Aphorisms as a starting point, the walks will cross Clapham and wider South London, considering key sites and their interaction with both queer culture and the AIDS crisis. Writers Paul Flynn and Huw Lemmey, academic Theo Gordon and a member of Catwalk4Power, will explore subjects ranging from pop music’s reaction to the AIDS crisis to the relationship between homosexuality and espionage.
David McDiarmid’s Rainbow Aphorisms are a series of public works shown intermittently across sites in Clapham and Brixton, in partnership with This is Clapham and Art on the Underground. Over the course of a year, artworks will appear at various locations including neighbouring LGBTQ+ venue Two Brewers, the façade of Studio Voltaire, Brixton Underground station, and other temporary locations.
David McDiarmid (1952–1995) was an Australian artist, designer and activist, recognised for his prominent and sustained artistic engagement in issues relating to queer identity and history. Rainbow Aphorisms are a series of printed multiples, produced from 1993 until the artist’s death in 1995 of AIDS–related illnesses. McDiarmid produced these works in response to his own, and his community’s, experience of the AIDS crisis, and the multiple forms of devastations it manifests –political, emotional, intellectual and medical.
This is the first solo institutional presentation of McDiarmid’s work in the UK, and the inaugural project in the Clapham Public Real Programme delivered by Studio Voltaire in partnership with This is Clapham. The project has been mounted with the support and involvement of the David McDiarmid Estate, Sydney. The public programme is supported by Arts Council England.