Walking Tour: Huw Lemmey, Only the Shallow Know Themselves

Huw Lemmey, Only the Shallow Know Themselves

Writer Huw Lemmey explores the complex relationship between homosexuality and espionage in the British imagination – from the Cambridge Five and the Vassall Scandal to London Spy, a BBC drama based on the mysterious death of GCHQ employee Gareth Wyn Williams.

This walk will take in sites across South London that relate to historical and fictional stories of spying, from the 1930’s to the present day.

Tickets: £3.00

Early booking is recommended as spaces are strictly limited.


Starting outside the Houses of Parliament, the walk will make its way past MI5, through Pimlico and Vauxhall, and finally past the US Embassy before finishing at Studio Voltaire in Clapham.

About the contributor:

Huw Lemmey is a writer and author based in Barcelona. He has written for the Guardian, New Humanist, Icon and Architectural Review, amongst many others. Chubz: The Demonization of my Working Arse, his first book, was published 2015 by Montez Press.

Rainbow Aphorisms Walking Tours

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.

About Rainbow Aphorisms

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.