The Oscar Wilde Temple is a space of sanctuary and celebration.
A central concern of the artists McDermott & McGough, was that the space be used by LGBTQ+ communities for ceremonies, reading groups, community meetings and other special events.
In response to the artists’ intention, Studio Voltaire issued an invitation to London–wide LGBTQ+ organisations, charities and individuals to come and activate the temple. Studio Voltaire collaborated with 20 organisations, charities and individuals to host over 70 events: from ceremonies to coffee mornings, regular hosted visits, reading groups, tours, and workshops with local communities and education partners.
The breadth of events has included: The Day of the Dead drumming circle with the Radical Faeries of Albion; a “Queer New Year” letter writing workshop with Kingston LGBT Forum; a youth social with 16-25 year old LGBTQ+ people who have experienced homelessness or are living in a hostile environment; a faith gathering for the LGBTQ+ POC community with the House of Rainbow; a eulogy ceremony with artist Salote Tawale, and a wedding hosted within Studio Voltaire’s vaulted chapel gallery space. The Oscar Wilde Temple has been particularly celebrated and utilised by the over 50+ LGBTQ+ local communities of Clapham, Wandsworth and Brixton.
Alongside this programme Studio Voltaire also worked in partnership with national LGBT youth homelessness charity The Albert Kennedy Trust, offering six months of workshops, events, mentoring and professional development for young people, in partnership with leading artists, writers and designers.
McDermott & McGough in conversation with Alison Gingeras
Friday 5 October 2018
An artist–led private view of The Oscar Wilde Temple, by celebrated artists McDermott & McGough. For this special viewing, curator Alison Gingeras was in conversation with the artists David McDermott and Peter McGough. Together they explored this groundbreaking project, which has been twenty years in the making.
Dr. Dominic Janes on ‘Oscar Wilde and Queer Martyrdom’ with Professor Robert Mills
Saturday 13 October 2018
Cultural historian Dominic Janes was joined by Professor Robert Mills to explore how Catholic forms of Christianity played a key role in the evolution of the culture and visual expressions of homosexuality and male same–sex desire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He explored this relationship through the idea of queer martyrdom — closeted queer servitude to Christ — a concept that allowed a certain degree of latitude for the development of same–sex desire.
Janes introduced and read from his recent book on the ways in which artists and writers, from Oscar Wilde to Derek Jarman, employed ecclesiastical material culture to further queer self–expression, considering the limitations and ongoing significance of Christianity as an inspiration for expressions of homoerotic desire.
Dominic Janes is Professor of Modern History at Keele University. Dominic is a cultural historian who studies texts and visual images relating to Britain in its local and international contexts since the eighteenth century. Within this sphere he focuses on the histories of gender, sexuality and religion. His most recent books are Picturing the Closet (Oxford University Press, 2015), Visions of Queer Martyrdom (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and Oscar Wilde Prefigured (University of Chicago Press, 2016).
Robert Mills is Professor of Medieval Studies and Head of the History of Art Department. Between 2015 and 2018 he directed qUCL, UCL’s LGBTQ research network. Bob’s books include Suspended Animation: Pain, Pleasure and Punishment in Medieval Culture (2005), Seeing Sodomy in the Middle Ages (2015) and Derek Jarman’s Medieval Modern (2018). Bob is currently working on questions of animality and sovereignty in medieval art.
Wandsworth LGBTQ 50+ Coffee morning
Tuesday 16 October 2018
This 50+ LGBT coffee morning was organised in partnership with the Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum. Meeting weekly, this group provides space for older LGBT+ people to meet and talk and hear from guest speakers at The Furzedown Project in Tooting.
Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum is a local community group whose primary role is to be the voice of LGBTQ+ people in Wandsworth and to support groups across London. They have established a broad programme of advocacy, health and cultural activities for LGBTQ+ people of all ages across the borough and beyond.
Jonathan Blake in conversation with Lou Stoppard
Thursday 25 October
Gay rights activist Jonathan Blake was joined by writer and curator Lou Stoppard to discuss his long involvement in activism and his life since becoming one of the first people to be diagnosed with HIV in the UK.
Blake was diagnosed with HTLV3 (now known as HIV) in October 1982, at a time when the virus meant terminal illness. He turned 69 this year.
In the early 1980s, Blake began to participate in political activism, joining the Gays for a Nuclear Free Future campaign on Greenham Common (1983) and the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign (1984). The latter was fictionalised in the film Pride (2014), with Blake depicted by Dominic West. In addition to a career in acting and costume wardrobe, Blake continues to be politically and socially active by volunteering for HIV and AIDS charities. In 2015, Blake was given Attitude magazine’s Pride Award for his work in the LGBTQ+ community.
Albert Kennedy Trust Youth Conference Social
Friday 26 October 2018
The Albert Kennedy Trust, partners of The Oscar Wilde Temple, hosted a social for its 10th annual Youth Conference at Studio Voltaire in October.
The Conference was themed “Create Your Future” and hosted over 80 young people from across the UK including Scotland, Wales, Liverpool, and Brighton. The Social delegates had a tour of the exhibition, before getting to know each other over music, food and drinks.
Radical Faeries of Albion: Albion Fae Samhain Circle
Wednesday 31 October 2018 and Sunday 20 January 2019
The London Queer Rad Fae witches celebrated Samhain night at The Oscar Wilde Temple – gathering to “remember our kin, honour our kind, celebrate our power and invoke the hour of our magical return as healers, teachers and soul warriors of the human race, reuniting the worlds, lifting the veils rediscovering the Way, reinventing it for today inviting a renewed understanding and experience of the relationship between the living and the dead invoking health and balance mentally – emotionally – physically by honouring all parts of ourselves…”
The London Queer Radical Faeries returned to the Oscar Wilde Temple in the New Year to to invoke Queer Spirit and for more invocations, poetry, song and drumming.
The Radical Faeries of Albion are a global network of of lesbians, gay men, trans, bisexuals, queer hetero people, who come together to create vibrant, energetic and safe spaces to celebrate the spirituality of sexuality.
Max Fox and Ben Miller on Guy Hocquenghem’s ‘The Amphitheatre of the Dead:
An Anticipated Memoir’ (1988)
Thursday 8 November, 2018
Writer and editor Max Fox read from his forthcoming English translation of The Amphitheatre of the Dead by Guy Hocquenheghem. Fox was joined in conversation by writer and researcher Ben Miller.
The Amphitheatre of the Dead is a lightly science–fictionalised memoir by the French thinker Guy Hocquenghem, written in 1988 and published in 1994. Composed in the last months of his life, when AIDS related complications developed into paralysis and “his hand no longer responded to commands from his brain,” Hocquenghem never finished this, his final book.
Set in 2018, the novel dramatises the task of living with death by imagining a future of chronic deferral. The work opens with a reunion of dead friends in an anatomical hospital theatre, where the narrator has been for thirty years whilst receiving treatment for “Rosenbaum’s disease.” Hocquenghem reflects movingly on what we outlive, and what outlives us.
‘A Wo/Man of No Importance’, Juliet Jacques
Saturday 17 November 2018
Juliet Jacques’ performative reading of A Wo/Man of No Importance, is a short piece of fiction that recounts the events surrounding Oscar Wilde’s trial as well as tales from the decadent literary and artistic circles of London of the late 1800s.
Written from the perspective of an anonymous narrator in 1914, A Wo/Man of No Importance tells the story of Arthur Parr, an androgynous aspiring artist and writer. Parr was determined to get their work published in The Yellow Book, a quarterly periodical published by John Lane and Elkin Mathews from 1894–97, and so became more and more consumed by the glamorous world of London’s artistic elite. As the story progresses, Parr becomes less focused on publishing stories and more concerned with living them. Eventually, Parr’s art becomes their life and a new “invert” identity evolves as the narrative takes a tragic turn at the hands of an intolerant society.
This event was the first public presentation of A Wo/Man of No Importance, a tale taken from Jacques’ forthcoming collection of short stories that tell a potted history of trans people in the United Kingdom from the Victorian period to the present day.
Salote Tawale, ‘Celebrations & Sympathies: Studies in Culture 5’
Thursday 29 November 2018
Presented in the context of The Oscar Wilde Temple, this was the 5th instalment of Salote Tawale’s Celebrations and Sympathies, a performative hybrid of rituals and ceremonial acts, exploring the familiar and unfamiliar of daily life as well as the artist’s cultural inheritance.
Salote Tawale was born in Suva, Fiji Islands and grew up in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Exhibitions include Mana Moana, Raven Row, London (2019); What If We Were Alive, Untitled Art Society, Calgary (2018); Unfinished Business: Perspectives in Feminism, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2017); Mistaken Identities, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford (2012); and Exploration #3, Wellington Art Centre, Wellington (2005).
Tawale was the recipient of a six-month Australia Council for the Arts residency hosted by ACME studios.
All proceeds from this event went to The Albert Kennedy Trust.
Philip Hoare: Oscar Wilde and ‘Queer Nature’
Saturday 1 December 2018
Writer, broadcaster, curator and filmmaker Philip Hoare discussed Oscar Wilde’s role in “queer nature” and in particular, his relationship to the sea.
During Wilde’s 1882 tour of the United States – which projected him to international celebrity – he paused and extended his stay on Fire Island. A depiction of Wilde holidaying in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (1882) portrayed him in what Hoare describes as “the ultimate in aesthetic undress,” with flowing locks and a boldly fitted swimming costume. Now known as a popular holiday spot for the LGBTQ+ community; in the late 19th century, Fire Island was a fashionable swimming resort for New Yorkers.
Wilde also sought out the sea in darker times. Following his release from Reading Gaol, Wilde retreated to the French seaside village of Berneval–sur–Mer, where he swam daily.
For this special event, Hoare riffed on Wilde’s documented love of swimming to take in other watery, poetic dandies from literary history – Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, Edward Carpenter, Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Wilfred Owen, Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath.
Peter Tatchell on Harvey Milk
Saturday 8 December 2018
A talk by human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell considering the life and legacy of Harvey Milk, the civil and human rights leader who became one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States, as well as a broader discussion about Tatchell’s own human rights campaigns and inspirations.
Milk was a loud and unapologetic champion for the participation of the LGBTQI+ community in politics. He served less than a year in public office before his assassination on the 27 November 1978.
Peter Tatchell is a human rights campaigner, a member of the gay rights group OutRage! and the left wing of the Green party. He is also director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, a human rights organisation.
House of Rainbow Faith Gathering
Friday 25 January 2019
House Of Rainbow is an inclusive, welcoming and affirming religious community for all people, including sexual minorities and the marginalised.
This special event welcomed all to a gathering of people of faith for prayer and praise, focussing on the individual’s journey towards a reconciliation of sexuality and spirituality.
House Of Rainbow holds periodic meetings at eleven centres across six countries. The House Of Rainbow Fellowship was the vision of Reverend Rowland Jide Macaulay, an openly gay African theologian.
Clumsy Bodies are an LGBTQIA, disabled-led collective who work primarily in theatre, poetry, and film. They used The Oscar Wilde Temple regularly throughout February as a space for development and rehearsals for a new performance work.
The Gay Artists Group: Life Drawing
Sunday 10 February 2018 and 31 March 2019
The Gay Artists Group hosted two life drawing classes within The Oscar Wilde Temple. This long–standing group of Clapham residents and professional artists meet regularly on Sundays to draw the nude form.
LGBT+ History Month: ‘Queer Stories’ hosted by Opening Doors London
Sunday 17 February 2018
Opening Doors London – the UKs largest charity providing information and support services for older LGBT+ people – hosted an afternoon of performance at The Oscar Wilde Temple. This special event featured two unique performances bringing prominent LGBTQ+ figures from history to life.
“An Extraordinary Female Affection – The Life and Love of The Ladies of Llangollen” was the tale of Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler. In 1778, these two upper class Irish women eloped from Ireland and soon became known as ‘The Ladies of Llangollen’, famous for their romantic friendship. Together, they built a home at Plas Newydd in Llangollen, which became something of a tourist attraction. The performance by Jane Hoy and Helen Sandler from Living Histories Cymru was followed by a Q&A.
“Hut 8” was an exploration of English mathematician Alan Turing’s (1912-1954) life and loves through dance, choreographed by Mark Smith and performed by Gavin Eden and Joseph Fletcher. Smith incorporated mathematical language, poetry and sign language into his choreography to show a trilogy of dance that reveals the complexity, genius and diversity of Alan Turing.
The Trial of Lord Alfred Douglas: an interactive, theatrical experience hosted by Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum
Tuesday 26 February
In celebration of LGBT History Month, Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum invited participants to take part in The Trial of Lord Alfred Douglas with Peter Scott-Presland, Andrew Lumsden and David Robson.
In 1891, Wilde began a relationship with Bosie, the son of the Marquis of Queensberry. The pair spent four intimate years together before Wilde was arrested for gross indecency. Bosie is remembered for his subsequent betrayal and rejection of Wilde during his brutal experiences of being tried, jailed and publicly shamed. The production interrogates popular understanding of this Queer Myth.
This performance event also marked the launch of a collaborative campaign between the Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum and Studio Voltaire to raise funds for a permanent Rainbow Plaque at Clapham Junction Station for Oscar Wilde. (see ‘Legacy’ below for more information about the plaque).
Peter Scott-Presland is an author, founder of Homo Promos Theatre, and is an LGBTQ+ rights activist. He published Amiable Warriors: The History of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and Its Times in 2015.
Andrew Lumsden was a national newspaper journalist in the 1960s-1970s and member of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF). Later he was a co-founder of the seminal and hugely important fortnightly national newspaper/magazine, Gay News (1972-1983). He is still a gay activist.David Robson is the chair of Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum. He also hosts Clapham’s monthly LGBT film club Out at Clapham at the Picturehouse Cinema, produces Queer Question Time – a community-led discussion event which aims to educate and debate current LGBTQ+ affairs and is a DJ.
As Time Goes By: a Gay Sweatshop seminar
Saturday 2 March 2019
Conceived and led by artist Conal McStravick, this event considered the work and legacies of The Gay Sweatshop Theatre Company, and in particular, their seminal 1976 play As Time Goes By.
Divided into three parts, the play stages three histories from the “homosexual century” up to and including gay liberation. The first is set in the late–Victorian era following Oscar Wilde’s infamous trial; the second in 1930s Germany during the rise of the Nazi regime and the violent repression of homosexuality; and finally in the Stonewall bar on the night of Judy Garland’s funeral, which sparked the Stonewall riots and the modern gay liberation movement.
Through a series of facilitated discussions, readings and short screenings, this seminar considered the influence of gay and lesbian agit–prop theatre in consciousness raising and creating new publics for LGBTQ+ people in the UK, as well as Gay Sweatshop’s subsequent influence on contemporary LGBTQIA and QTIPOC performance.McStravick was joined by Philip Osment and Bruce Bayley, original cast members of As Time Goes By.
Maggi Hambling in conversation with Louisa Buck
Tuesday 12 March 2019
Celebrated contemporary artist Maggi Hambling was joined in conversation by art critic and correspondent Louisa Buck.
This was a rare opportunity to gain insight into Hambling’s wide–ranging practice, as well as her particular connection to, and work on Oscar Wilde.
Maggi Hambling (born 1945, Suffolk) is often renowned for the sculpture A conversation with Oscar Wilde which was unveiled in 1998 at Adelaide Street, London, facing Charing Cross Station. Hambling became the First Artist in Residence at the National Gallery, London (1998); in 1995 she won the Jerwood Painting Prize (with Patrick Caulfield), and in 2003, Scallop, a sculpture to celebrate Benjamin Britten was unveiled in Aldeburgh, Suffolk which in 2005 Hambling was awarded the Marsh Award for Excellence in Public Sculpture.
Louisa Buck is an art critic and author, and has been contemporary art correspondent for The Art Newspaper since 1997.
Peter McGough & David McDermott in conversation with curator Nicola Wright
Wednesday 13 March 2019
Artists Peter McGough and David McDermott led a tour of The Oscar Wilde Temple, their largest commission to date.
This wholly immersive work of art and secular space honours Wilde, one of the earliest forebears of gay liberation, whilst commemorating contemporary LGBTQ+ martyrs and those lost to the AIDS crisis.
This is the first–ever institutional exhibition of McDermott & McGough’s work in the UK and provides audiences with an important opportunity to experience the artists’ groundbreaking work first–hand.
The Bent Bars Project 10th Anniversary Party
Saturday 16 March 2019
The Bent Bars Project celebrated its ten-year anniversary and a decade of connecting LGBTQ+ communities across prison walls.
As a small, unfunded and completely volunteer–run organisation, Bent Bars are proud to have made it to ten years old. The Bent Bars Project is a letter–writing project for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, gender–variant, intersex, and queer prisoners in Britain. Bent Bars aims to work in solidarity with prisoners by sharing resources, providing mutual support and drawing public attention to the struggles of queer and trans people behind bars. The project also collects and distributes information for LGBTQ+ prisoners on a range of issues, including harm reduction practices (safer sex, safer drug use), HIV and HepC prevention, homophobia, transphobia, and coming out in prison.
There were readings from current and ex-prisoners who have been involved in the project, as well as special performances by Solomon, writer, editor and performer That Ray and artist and performer Bird La Bird.
All funds raised went directly to support The Bent Bars Project.
In Alan Turing’s Name: Pardoning the Dead, Forgetting the Living
Saturday 23 March 2019
This special panel discussion brought together authorities on Alan Turing and the statutory pardon legislation intended to honour him. The Turing Bill was a 2016 Private Member’s Bill intended to pardon all men – both living and dead – found guilty of homosexual offences no longer on the statute book. Initially promised Conservative Government support, the Bill was instead filibustered and replaced by an amendment to the 2017 Policing and Crime Act.
That posthumous pardon covers over 50,000 dead men – including Oscar Wilde – who were cautioned or convicted under historical legislation that outlawed homosexual acts. But it has bitterly disappointed those still living with the burden of convictions.
This event was convened by Justin Bengry, who leads the Queer History MA at Goldsmiths, University of London. Contributors include: Katy Watts, a solicitor with the Public Law Project; Terry Stewart, an activist of more than four decades who has been denied a pardon; Chris Waters, professor of Modern European History at Williams College, Massachusetts and leading Alan Turing historian; and John Nicolson, journalist, broadcaster and the SNP politician who authored the Turing Bill.
The panel discussed the significance of the lost law and the consequences of the existing pardon.
Creative Dance Workshops and Sharing
Every Monday evening in March 2019
“What got you through? The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention…’
This series of free creative movement workshops invited individuals to explore themes of ‘resilience’ and LGBTQI+ experiences. Sessions were led by dancer and art therapist Bruce Currie and dancer/dance facilitator Andy Newman.
The project considered how older LGBTQI+ people have struggled to have their sexual identity valued and accepted. Participants reflected on their positive success stories and ‘what got me through’, whether a person, an experience, a thing or a thought, remembering any act of kindness that helped them on their path.
The workshops were closed sessions, culminating in a public sharing at the end of the month–long programme.
Author and editor Luke Turner in conversation with journalist and writer Paul Flynn
Thursday 28 March 2019
Luke Turner was joined in conversation by Paul Flynn to discuss masculinity, sexuality, wilderness and religion in Turner’s celebrated new memoir Out of the Woods (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2019).
…After the disintegration of the most significant relationship of his life, the demons Turner has been battling since childhood are quick to return – depression and guilt surrounding his identity as a bisexual man, experiences of sexual abuse, and the religious upbringing that was the cause of so much confusion. It is among the trees of London’s Epping Forest where he seeks refuge. But once a place of comfort, it now seems full of unexpected, elusive threats that trigger twisted reactions.
Luke Turner is a writer and editor based in London. In 2008 he co-founded The Quietus, an online magazine devoted to music, arts and popular culture within the context of contemporary society.
Paul Flynn is the author of Good As You: 30 Years of Gay Britain (2017). He has worked as a journalist for over two decades. He began writing at City Life magazine in Manchester and is currently the Senior Contributing Editor at Love and a columnist for Attitude and Grazia.
Tuesday 2 April 2019
Studio Voltaire hosted Magma Poetry for an issue launch event hosted by editors Ella Frears and Richard Scott with guest readings from CA Conrad and Jane Yeh. Magma Poetry is a triannual publication specializing in contemporary poetry, with each issue being edited by a different guest contributor.
Dr Sos Eltis, ‘Oscar Wilde (anarchist, socialist, feminist)’
Thursday 11 April 2019
This special discussion was led by Dr Sos Eltis (Brasenose College, University of Oxford), who offers a radical re-examination of Oscar Wilde’s plays, challenging long-established views of the writer as a dilettante and dandy. Eltis argues that Wilde be considered a serious philosopher and social critic who used his drama to subvert traditional Victorian values: she positions him as an anarchist, a socialist and a feminist.
Dr Sos Eltis is Fellow and Tutor in English at Brasenose College, Oxford. Publications include ‘Revising Wilde: Society and Subversion’ in the Plays of Oscar Wilde (Oxford University Press, 1996) and Acts of Desire: Women and Sex on Stage, 1800-1930 (Oxford University Press, 2013).
Friday 12 April 2019
Queerdirect hosted a platonic speed dating social at The Oscar Wilde Temple, as an opportunity to meet people from the wider LGBTQ+ community and share stories with a focus on intergenerational knowledge sharing and empowerment in a fun and safe environment.Queerdirect is an LGBTQI+ Artist support network, curatorial platform and arts programme initiated by Gaby Sahhar in 2017 and co-run with Lily Cheetah.
The Library is Open! Performances by Sara Wingate Gray and Istanbul Queer Art Collective
Saturday 13 April 2019
The Library is Open! at The Oscar Wilde Temple brought together two library–themed durational performances, The Itinerant Poetry Library by Sara Wingate Gray and Psychic Bibliophiles by Istanbul Queer Art Collective.
The Itinerant Poetry Library (TIPL) is a non–static, special collections public library of poetry. Operating outside of the confines of architecture but within the parameters of conventional library systems, the project encourages users to explore their perception of what a library might be. The books in TIPL change according to the occasion and for this event references to Oscar Wilde were used. TIPL has travelled to 14 different countries in over 200 different locations.
Psychic Bibliophiles is an artwork and memento: the artists made this piece to remember the 2000 books that they had to leave behind during a move from Istanbul to London. For this performance they used a suitcase full of handwritten cards, one for each of the books left in Turkey – to give visitors an impression of what it was like to have lived and read in Istanbul. Visitors were asked to pick a card, the artists then used the card to tell a story, something like a tarot reading. Any visitor that found an Oscar Wilde card will be gifted with a quote from one of the very few books the artists brought with them: The Collective Works of Oscar Wilde.
Brixton Umbrella Circle: ‘Pretended Family Gathering’
Sunday 14 April 2019
For this gathering, hosted at The Oscar Wilde Temple, Brixton Umbrella Circle presented a Sunday afternoon outing for queer people of all ages to discuss the challenges of growing up, growing old, and being queer in the 21st century.
Brixton Umbrella Circle is a group of older (50+) LGBTQ+ people located in the Brixton area of London. It offers a forum for mutual support, socialising and discussing individual and collective experiences ( past and current ) in a social, cultural and political context.
Photo: Derek Hatton, 1988
Tuesday 23 April
Queer Crafts is a group of queer friends who were joined in October 2018 through their love of crochet and knitting. They meet every few weeks to gossip and drink wine and craft together. They were overjoyed to meet in the sacred space dedicated to Oscar Wilde where they could connect with their creative flamboyant queer ancestry and remember those who have come before us in their fight to live a life uncircumscribed. They crocheted, embroidered, laughed, drank tea and ate biscuits provided by the delightful staff, had photoshoots in the highly pleasing queer aesthetics of the temple, and sang Samantha Mumba.
Wednesday 24 April 2019
A community consultation session led by QUEERCIRCLE. Queercircle is an organisation that supports the work of Queer artists through exhibitions, events, mentorship programmes and grant schemes – celebrating queer artistic expression, to expand the conversation surrounding queer art and build a collaborative, creative community.
Book Launch: Huw Lemmey, Red Tory: My Corbyn Chemsex Hell
Thursday 25 April 2019
This special event launched Spitzenprodukte’s (Huw Lemmey) second novel, Red Tory: My Corbyn Chemsex Hell, published by Montez Press. The evening included readings by the author, in addition to leading writers and poets Juliet Jacques, Ashkan Sepahvand, Linda Stupart and Timothy Thornton.
Huw Lemmey aka Spitzenprodukte is an author and writer whose first novel Chubz: the Demonization of my Working Arse (2014) was also published by Montez Press. Lemmey has written for Architectural Review, Guardian, Tribune, Art Monthly, the New Humanist, Rhizome, and L’Uomo Vogue.
Friday 26 April 2016
The Oscar Wilde Temple hosted the first official meet–up of Afemmera, a community group for cis and trans feminine-presenting women who love women. Afemma exists to help their community connect with each other, address femme-visibility issues, increase accurate representation and storytelling and build a sense of community.
Suggested Further Reading
About McDermott & McGough
Enrique Junicosa and McDermott & McGough, An Experience of Amusing Chemistry: Photographs 1990-1890. (Dublin: Irish Museum of Modern Art, 2007).
McDermott & McGough, ArT Random: Messers McDermott & McGough. (Kyoto: Kyoto Shoin International Co., Ltd., 1990).
McDermott & McGough, Because of Him. Essay by Wayne Koestenbaum. (New York: Cheim & Reid, 2008).
Robert Rosenblum, Messers Macdermott & Macgough: Paintings, Photographs & Time Experiments, 1950. (Oostkamp: Stichting Kunstboek BVBA, 1998).
McDermott & McGough, McDermott & McGough: 1936. Edited by Claudia Gian Ferrari. Contributions by Michele Bonuomo (Milan: Charta Edizioni, 1996).
Mark Alice Durant and McDermott & McGough, McDermott & McGough: History of Photography. (Santa Fe, New Mexico: Arena Editions, 1998).
Glenn O’Brien, McDermott & McGough: In Dream’s You’re Mine. (Paris: Galerie Jerome de Noirmont, 2012)
McDermott & McGough, McDermott & McGough. Suspicious of Rooms without Music or Atmosphere. Text by Tom Breidenbach (New York: Cheim & Reid, 2013).
McDermott & McGough, No. 26 Sandymount Avenue. Edited by Gerald Matt and Sandra Huber. Interview by Gerald Matt (Nuremberg: Moderne Kunst Nürnberg, 2011).
About Oscar Wilde
Richard Ellmann, Oscar Wilde. (London, Vintage Press, 1988).
Merlin Holland, Oscar Wilde: A Life in Letters. (New York, Carroll & Graf Publishers Inc, 2006).
Matthew Sturgis, Oscar: A Life. (London, Head of Zeus, 2018).
Michèle Mendelssohn, Making Oscar Wilde. (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2018).
Neil McKenna, The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde. (London, Penguin Random House, 2003).
Peter Ackroyd, The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (London, Hamish Hamilton, 1983).
Colm Tóibín, Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce (New York, Viking, 2018).
The Wildean and Intentions, two regular print journals issued by The Oscar Wilde Society
From our contributors
Matt Cook, “London and the Culture of Homosexuality, 1885-1914”, Cambridge Studies in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, (Cambridge, Camberidge University Press, 2003).
Matt Cook; Robert Mills; Randolph Trumbach; H.G. Cocks, A Gay History of Britain: Love and Sex Between Men Since the Middle Ages (Oxford/Westport Connecticut: Greenwood World Publishing, 2007).
Sos Eltis, Revising Wilde: Society and Subversion in the Plays of Oscar Wilde (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1996).
Sos Eltis “Performance and Identity in the Plays of Oscar Wilde”, in Oscar Wilde (Dublin, Irish Academic Press, 2011).
Paul Flynn, Good As You: From Prejudice to Pride – 30 Years of Gay Britain (London, Ebury Press, 2017).
Philip Hoare, Wilde’s Last Stand: Decadence, Conspiracy and the First World War (New York, Duckworth/Arcade, 1997).
Dominic Janes, Oscar Wilde Prefigured: Queer Fashioning and British Caricature, 1750-1900 (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2016).
Dominic Janes, Visions of Queer Martyrdom from John Henry Newman to Derek Jarman (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2015).
Huw Lemmey Red Tory: My Corbyn Chemsex Hell (London, Montez Press, 2019).
Robert Mills, Derek Jarman’s Medieval Modern (Suffolk, D.S.Brewer, 2018).
Luke Turner, Out of the Woods (London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2019).
Links to our partner networks, charities and community groups
akt supports lgbtq+ young people in the UK experiencing homelessness or living in hostile environments to find safe homes, employment, education or training and to celebrate their identities in order to improve their life outcomes.
Afemmera are a community of cis and trans femme or femme-presenting women who love women.
The Bent Bars Project is a letter-writing project for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, gender-variant, intersex, and queer prisoners in Britain.
Brixton Umbrella Circle is group for older (50+) LGBTQ’s located in the Brixton area of London. It offers a forum for mutual support, socialising and discussing individual and collective experiences.
Clumsy Bodies are a LGBTQIA, disabled-led collective who work primarily in theatre, poetry, and film.
House of Rainbow (HOR) fosters relationships among Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer (LGBTIQ+) individuals, people of faith and allies in order to create a safer and a more inclusive community.
The forum run regular social gatherings and events – from coffee to bowling, from walks to nights out – as well as a ‘buddying’ programme.
Opening Doors London is the biggest charity providing information and support services specifically for older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people in the UK.
Queerdirect is an LGBTQI+ Artist support network, curatorial platform and arts programme. They hold regular events and curate exhibitions around London and provide queer artists with a platform and support.
QUEERCIRCLE are dedicated to supporting queer artists on a national and international level through exhibitions, events, mentorship programmes and grant schemes.
The Faeries of Albion are an ever-expanding collective network of lesbians, gay men, trans*, bisexuals, queer hetero people and anyone else in between, who come together to create vibrant, energetic and safe spaces to celebrate the spirituality in our sexuality.
The Gay Artists Group is a long–standing group of Clapham residents and professional artists meet regularly on Sundays to draw the male nude.
Founded in 1990, The Oscar Wilde Society is a literary society devoted to the congenial appreciation of Oscar Wilde. The society is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to promote knowledge, appreciation and study of Wilde’s life, personality, and works.
The Victoria & Albert Museum’s LGBTQ Working Group is set out to unearth previously hidden or unknown LGBTQ histories from the museum’s collections and aims to facilitate understanding of LGBTQ identities and histories through research, events, discussion and debate.
Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum are a leading community group who campaign locally, across London and nationally to raise awareness and promote the interests of LGBTQ+ people. They were founded in response to the brutal murder of Jody Debrowski on Clapham Common in 2005.
A plaque for Oscar Wilde
During The Oscar Wilde Temple, Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum and Studio Voltaire collaborated on a campaign to produce a permanent plaque in memory of Oscar Wilde’s passage through Clapham Junction Station.
Wilde was sentenced to two–years hard labour following his conviction for “gross indecency with men”. From 2.00pm to 2.30pm on 20 November 1895, Wilde was forced to stand, handcuffed and in convict dress, on the ‘centre platform’ at Clapham Junction station whilst being transported to Reading Gaol. He was soon recognised and became the object of jeering, spitting and abuse as a crowd gathered around him. Wilde was so traumatised by the humiliating event that he wept at the same time and for the same length of time every day for a year afterwards. He writes about this in ‘De Profundis’, his autobiographical letter written to his partner Lord Alfred Douglas in 1897.
This rainbow plaque was unveiled by Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum, Studio Voltaire and Network Rail in July 2019 and can be found on Platform 10.
With thanks to Leander Architectural, Russell Tovey, the Mayor of Wandsworth Jane Cooper, The Oscar Wilde Society and all of those who made it possible through generous public donations.