Levi’s has announced a new three-year partnership with Queer Britain, the national LGBTQ+ museum. Marking this relationship, the collaboration kicks off with a curated photography exhibition titled Chosen Family.
Drawing together the work of four artists – Alia Romagnoli, Bex Day, Kuba Ryniewicz and Robert Taylor – each delves into the theme of ‘chosen family’ by telling the story of different individuals from within the LGBTQ+ community – highlighting the essential support networks that form as inclusive families.
Launching tomorrow and running for a week, there’s longevity in the project – after the event the photos will be donated to the Queer Britain archive, documenting a record of queer narratives in the UK. Here, we run through each artist’s work as they talk to us about the meanings and people behind their imagery.
“Shining a light on LGBTQIA+ representation in the South Asian community in London was the main focus of the series, exploring five desi individuals alongside their chosen families.
I was lucky enough to be able to work with my chosen family, Umber and Salwa, as part of the process. As a queer, plus sized, mixed-race woman, having a family who accepts you for who you are and helps you grow is so important. I am so grateful for them and incredibly proud of what we have created together.”
“My work focuses on gender equality, diversity and freedom of choice, which was relevant to the chosen family concept following on from my solo show Hen, which focused on the older transgender and non-binary communities in the UK.”
“My interpretation of Chosen Family was to invite a number of my friends to simply be themselves and act however they wanted in front of the camera. I’m based in in the North East, so all of the subjects featured in this series are based around Newcastle-upon-Tyne but there is still a great variety. I felt it was important to give all types of LGBTQ+ people a voice and really wanted to steer away from being too directional.”
“For over 30 years I’ve been using photo portraiture to explore and celebrate identity. Working on the Chosen Family project to tell a cluster of stories in celebration of a queer family I have known personally for so many years has been a particularly rich and fascinating experience. It was great to have the trust of the various family members. In this version of queer history, the queens don’t need to be rich or famous to be fabulous.”
Chosen Family runs at 9 Mercer Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9QJ from 25th June – 1st July. More info here.