Norena Shopland at the opening event. Image credit: Lowri Lewis
Norena Shopland at the opening event. Image credit: Lowri Lewis

Exhibition showcases the work of queer artists in Wales

Coffee shop raises money for Trans Aid Cymru through event celebrating community outside Pride month

A QUEER art exhibition has opened in Cardiff Central library as part of a coffee shop’s effort to raise awareness about queer artists in Cardiff.

Alice Turner, marketing manager of KIN+ILK, said: “A lot of companies and corporations will do this type of thing in Pride month and it kind of gets washed out and it feels a little bit performative. So we thought why not celebrate Pride all year round?”

She said it was fitting that KIN+ILK organised it as more coffee shop staff are queer than in most other occupations in the UK, according to the latest Census.  

“It’s been proven time and time again that visibility cuts down discrimination,” said prominent Welsh historian Norena Shopland during a panel discussion at the exhibition’s opening event on Saturday.

She said queer culture needed to be more mainstream.

“If you stick all the LGBTQ books on the queer shelf there’s a lot of people still who will not go and look at them, because you’re going to out yourself,” she said.

Andrew Hinchliff has been on the Stonewall council for Wales and is currently chair of North Wales Police’s LGBT+ liaison group. He told the audience about the difficulties he had with police as a gay man in rural North Wales before groups like this existed.

Maddie Fry with her art at the queer artists’ show at Cardiff Central Library. Credit: Lowri Lewis

Maddie Fry, an artist whose work is being showcased in the exhibition, told The Cardiffian that she appreciated the opportunity to get a sense of the creative community in Wales. Exhibitions like the one at the library were definitely needed, she added.

This is the second of a series of queer art exhibitions held by KIN+ILK. All proceeds go to Trans Aid Cymru and it has raised £180 so far.

You can visit the exhibition at Central Library Hub until December 2. Volunteers will be present to answer questions about the art or its artists.  

  • Any queer artists wanting to feature in a future show are encouraged to contact KIN+ILK via its social media @kinandilk, its website or to pop into one of its stores.