An immersive exhibition exploring queerness in the home, inspired by the domestic realm of 19th-century aesthetes Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon.
Contemporaries of Oscar Wilde - who described their homes as ‘the one place in London where you will never be bored’ - Ricketts’ and Shannon’s domestic life was built around an appreciation of art, partnership and community, providing fertile ground for queer intimacy among their set.
'Coming In' reimagined Ricketts' and Shannon’s ethos, bringing together a diverse range of artists, makers and businesses to explore the multi-faceted relationship between sexuality, domesticity, aesthetics, collecting and consuming.
Highlights of the show included Sid Henderson's terracotta vessels, Kavel Rafferty’s ‘Queer Flower’ work, Peter Ibruegger’s watercolours, Will Martin’s urns and ceramics, Robin Bray-Hurren’s ‘Law Quilt’, Trey Hurst’s ‘Wood Block’, and Rad Husak’s cyanotypes.
In his watercolours, Peter Ibruegger explores themes of hybrid identity in multiple layers being a biracial man, yoga teacher and queer artist. He brings to life images of public sex infused with a unique interpretation derived from his meditation and yogic practices.
These works take us on a journey from free for all of the relatively permissive sauna to the more riskier and observable settings of public toilets and open spaces. This fuses concepts of sex as catharsis while paying homage to stereotypes of satisfying efficient need against a background of Eastern spirituality.
Peter's art invites the onlooker to delve into the joyous yet temporary nature of public sexual existence while also observing the meditative qualities such interactions may have.
Robin Bray-Hurren created the Law Quilt in response to materials in the Edward James Archive, in particular a collection of James' writings from the early 1960s on homosexuality and morality, which includes discussion of police entrapment.
The hand-pieced quilt is constructed from sections of fabric cyanotype-printed with laws used in mid 20th Century America to persecute lesbians, bisexuals, gay men, and transgender people.
"With ‘Queer Flower’, I examine artistic tropes of flowers and floral still life to explore ideas of remembrance, censorship and queerness, both in its modern sense in the LGBTQ+ community as well as its original meaning of something strange or peculiar. My work seeks to re-contextualise and reclaim flowers from the domestic doldrums – recognising how female artists were permitted historically to paint flowers and very little else."
"I subvert photographic copies of flowers and pornography, taken from found flower arranging books and second-hand postcards and mags, redacting them with gloss paints. Sometimes I block out details and delicacy using brush marks to create shadows and silhouettes; denoting an absence of light to create a permanent record of the space the flowers once occupied." - Kavel Rafferty
The space also hosted events throughout the week, including Rachael House’s ‘Queer Voices’ workshop, a preview of Owen Duff’s queer concept album ‘bed’, life drawing hosted by Miles Coote, ‘Pride is a Protest’ flagmaking with Jack Ravi, and an urban beekeeping workshop with Pearly Queen Honey.
The show culminated with a dinner hosted by Will Martin, he created a menu based on his family recipes and served everything on his handmade tableware.