Refracted: Collection Highlights
13 May – 8 September 2017
The gallery marks the 50-year anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England with an exhibition co-curated by members of the local LGBT+ community.
The volunteer curators have selected objects from the Russell-Cotes collection to represent the colours and themes of the rainbow flag that has been a symbol of the LGBT+ community since the 1970s. They are: sexuality (pink); life (red); healing (orange); sunlight (yellow); nature (green); magic and art, (turquoise); harmony (blue); and spirit (purple/violet).
The curators have chosen to include pieces that shed light on the experiences of LGBT+ artists during the decades before decriminalisation – for example, a 19th-century painting by the Pre-Raphaelite follower Simeon Solomon whose career was destroyed when he was arrested and imprisoned for sodomy. Also featured is a life-size portrait by John Minton, who was so conflicted by his homosexuality that he committed suicide.
Other items have been chosen for their relevance to the rainbow themes, or because of their personal appeal to individual curators.
Earlier in the year the gallery invited photographers to apply for a commission to produce a series of images representing LGBT+ Bournemouth in 2017. The resulting works are displayed in the café gallery as a supplement to the main exhibition.