Boe is a self-taught illustrator, tattoo artist and market organiser based in London. Their art style is contemporary and challenging with influences from nature, tattoo culture and alternative fashion. As a queer person, their identity is a central theme to their work and they strive for their creative practice to be a space where not themselves, but others too can feel seen, represented and included. Their work is quirky, humorous yet politically challenging with a primary focus on queerness, intersectionality, feminism, mental wellbeing and current political affairs. Boe's aim is to normalise the discussions of social and political issues and make them accessible for all.
From its inception in 2018, we always knew that we wanted to create a brand that celebrated art and design. Today in it’s 4th year Adorn The Common is home to a diverse family of painters, photographers, illustrators, sculptors, designers, makers and story tellers - all with a common goal, to share, create and educate.
With over 30 emerging and established artists many from Black, Queer, age and neuro diverse communities, we have grown into a creative, art & lifestyle brand built on a desire to exhibit beautiful works with a critical directive at their core.
Championing creatives from a diverse assembly of backgrounds and lived experiences, we continue to present shows and collections of work that challenge the status quo and provide a platform for all voices to be seen and heard.
Alex (he/him) is a queer and neurodiverse artist that uses creative photography to produce designs with a botanical theme. He uses a light box to bring out the fine details in plants and digitally paints in elements from multiple exposures to create compositions which blur the lines between photography and illustration. Through his art he explores issues which are important to him, such as: LGBTQ+ history and rights and awareness of chronic illnesses. Alex’s work is currently exhibited at the Liberation Art Gallery in Brighton.
Ari Wisner is a queer illustrator, artist and graphic designer based in London. Ari has created two genderless and plastic-free tarot decks - Trinity Tarot (self published) and the Transient Light Tarot (Published by Hay House). Through art and tarot decks, Ari aims to create tangible tools to aid reflection, prompt intuition and promote authentic, peaceful living. Find Ari on Instagram @ari_wisner or ariwisner.com
Queer people deserve representation that doesn't revolve around rave culture, whiteness or depression and I've made it my mission to display that through art. Through drawing a diverse range of characters - especially those who don't fit into conventional beauty standards - I hope to show that beauty exists in every form of humanity.
Ben Saunders is a queer artist and tattoo artist based in Manchester and his work focuses on celebrating trans bodies and reclaiming trans sexuality. A large section of his work focuses on kink within the trans and queer community, in a way that aims to uplift and empower people through kink and sexuality.
Many of the references for Ben’s illustrations are provided by queer and trans people within the community, which he hopes also encourages trans people to feel represented and beautiful within his work.
You can find Ben’s prints on his Etsy shop BenSaundersArt, or through the link in his Instagram bio @bensaunders.art, where he has over 70 different queer prints to choose from!
My art is very much inspired by wildlife and nature, and especially by the majestic fox that visits my garden in Hackney London.
I love watching the seasons change and have always enjoyed collecting what nature provides, pressing leaves and flowers, drying tree bark and seed pods which I use in my art. Coming from a background in Costume, Tailoring and Fashion, I often use fabrics, sewing techniques, sequins, beads, crystals and other textures and surface decoration.
My love of religious art and artefacts, ecclesiastical textile design and architecture is also visible in my work, alongside my fascination with graveyards, supernatural, folklore and the occult.
Over the past two years I have been exploring and creating traditional wheat weaving patterns and constructing corn husk dolls which I’ve always had a fascination with.
David has been documenting the faces of London's queer scene for over forty years and has captured some our most celebrated icons in his candid and intimate style. The National Portrait Gallery have twenty one of his portraits and in 2017 they marked the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality with an exhibition of his work, Before We Were Men, which included the images of Leigh Bowery and Derek Jarman shown here.
In 2013 David was voted 16th on the Independent's Pink List of the most influential gay people in Britain for creating the Pink Jack, the British gay flag, which was the first time a national flag had been 'queered'.
Ed Firth is the East London, UK artist and writer behind the Pound Shop zine cycle and the ongoing Horny & High anthology comic series exploring British chemsex subculture among gay men in 2010’s London. Vol 1 was shortlisted for the Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition, and described by queer comics legend Ralf König as telling “a truth only the bowels can understand”. In 2022 his autobiographical comic The Lift placed second in the Observer/Faber & Faber Graphic Short Story competition, and in 2023 he was recognised by Broken Frontier as one of their Six To Watch emerging Small Press creators. He is currently writing volume 3 of H&H and producing a hardback Best-Of collection of Pound Shop, as well as volunteering for Controlling Chemsex to help people resolve ambivalence around substance use.
Erin Aniker is an Illustrator whose bold and colourful people driven illustrations draw inspiration from her upbringing and love of her home city of London, her dual Turkish and British heritage, appreciation of Islamic art and patterns and the inclusive community she has grown up with in east London.
Alongside her personal work, she enjoys creating illustrations for use in editorials, books, advertising campaigns and more.
She also draws inspiration from a lot of 60s and 70’s art including the Feminist posters of See Red Women’s Workshop, Bridget Riley and the geometry of Islamic patterns and abstract artists such as Fahrelnissa Zeid.
You can see more of her work on Instagram and Twitter at @ErinAniker
An east London based artist focused on life drawing and tufting inspired by artists like jean Cocteau, Gengoroh Tagame and Tom of Finland with a colourful aesthetic giving them a sexy yet cute vibe and the rugs strokeable tongue in cheek motifs ;)
Gianluca Floris he/him (Gian for friends, Miss Floris for acquaintances) is an Italian queer artist living in London. @hoarse_rama is his queer illustration project to promote body justice, sex positivity, general faggottery and big booties. He is as silly as he sounds.
Born in 1966, in the current territory of Lithuania that was part of the former Soviet Union, I have been residing in London, UK for nearly two decades. For most of my life, I have been enthralled by various artworks, paintings and artists, particularly abstract art. I never studied art professionally. One day I simply picked up the brush and painted my first works. This hobby of mine led me to the New Artist Fair exhibition in 2022 and in Oxo Tower Fair 2023 where I got an opportunity to showcase some of my artworks to the public. I am still in the process of trying to discover myself and the style of my work as an artist. I do that by experimenting and combining colours and compositions. I enjoy nature, travelling and the sense of discovery, therefore inspiration to paint comes from everyday objects and situations that the world is filled with. I simply transfer those images and emotions retained in my memory onto canvas using acrylic paint, modelling paste, sand, mixing knife, brushes and other tools.
Jaq Spooky is a trans woman with an interest in monstrosity and sexuality. The art she creates comes from her experience of possessing a body that is maligned and weaponised by a society that has a destructive agenda that seeks to control and prescribe people's behaviours based on a fundamentalist idea of human nature. Her work explores this and attempts to find catharsis through imagery that she finds uncomfortable or painful.
She has been homeless, attacked by the police, attacked by men in the street and she has also been loved and cared for by many wonderful sapphics and lesbians over the course of her life. She hopes that the complexity of these experiences, both the bad and the good are communicated through what she's created.
Katie / Keernas (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist based in London. A designer by training, her practice spans between both design and the visual arts, working with body adornment, sculpture and performance. Exploring autonomy in relation to cultural identity and queer modes of living, through the interplay of material with the body. She seeks to unfold the internalised challenges of occupying distinct cultures and experiences. Using the key motifs in her work she has developed some wearable pins and keychains.
Lauren Hurrell (@laurenhurrellart) is a Peckham-based queer artist from Bristol who has lived in London for nearly ten years.
Her work tends to focus on depictions of queer desire and observational drawings of interior spaces. These were originally inspired by the pandemic restrictions, as we became stuck inside and regulations were put on our right to intimacy that wasn’t ‘legitimised’ by marriage or cohabiting. Lauren’s art aims to centre joy and intimate moments of desire. She digitises much of these to add a vibrancy of colour and an element of fantasy. The observational works use watercolour, pencil and acrylics to emphasise a more organic and naturalistic element with a fine line to give definition. The overarching aim in Lauren’s work is to eternalise these moments like snapshots. Having begun selling work on Etsy in 2021, Lauren has now sold nearly 200 prints worldwide, including North America and Australia.
I design and make wheel thrown ceramics in a range of bold, graphic, hand painted designs. My best sellers include mugs, bowls and espresso cups, while incense holders, plant pots and brooches also make great gifts. Mainly focusing on functional pieces for the home, I strive to create pieces that are exciting to look at and bring a little joy to your day when you use them!
ManosQueer is a little shop of Queerness. We make handmade and custom pieces, from lino print art, to stickers, greeting cards, to needle felting and more. Our art is unapologetically queer and filled with love, rage and pride. Everything we do is originally designed by us, and inspired by the power, beauty and diversity of queer bodies and identities.
At marblehead we create hand illustrated and colourful goods. We celebrate queer culture and are a gender free zone! We encourage everyone to be their true and unique selves and embrace eco friendly practices.
An independent publishing house which helps hidden voices be heard.
Polari was a secret language from the early 1900s when homosexuality was still criminalised in the UK. Spoken almost exclusively by gay and bisexual men, the nature of clandestine meetings brought together people from all walks of life, who all had an influence on the language.
Cockney, Romany and Italian languages mixed with the colloquialisms of thespians, circus performers, wrestlers, sailors and wider criminal communities to create a slang to express their sexuality safely.
Inspired by these origins, we publish queer voices, alongside other marginalised groups, to share perspectives and build a collaborative platform for all of us.
Hey, I’m phoebe calypso (they/them), a London based artist focusing mostly on printmaking techniques like linocuts and monotypes. I’m interested in exploring queer history and issues using hand drawn lettering and silly genderless figures. My tshirt image is a cyanotype of a blue delphinium. They're mentioned at the very end of Derek Jarman's 'Blue', when he says "I place a delphinium, blue, upon your grave" and are often used for remembrance. But they are also meant to symbolise dignity and in Greek mythology blossomed from the blood of a Greek God
Miss Ruby V co-hosted the World AIDS Day Red Run in 2022. Her husband, Mr V, has been busy creating some fabulous crafty products, including a Limited ‘Lewk Eleganza’ range, made from remnants of her costumes. Team V have also designed some colourful glass fusion jewellery, which includes some recycled material. All products have been designed to be sold at queer events and are inspired by a passion for drag and the LGBTQ+ Community.
Shaven Raven Designs is the moniker of East London-based illustrator and graphic designer, Ufuoma Urie. Her line of gift wrap and greeting cards celebrate black/queer identities, movie monsters, symbols of femme horror chic, sex and magik. She focuses on bold typographic works; illustrating words with long histories that relate to sex, kink and slang born in the queer community but now woven into popular culture. Newer works feature bold type, ankara design and ever-repeating patterns
John Walter has applied his maximalist aesthetic onto the subject of HIV in Alien Sex Club (2015), which addressed sexual health as a crisis of visual representation, and CAPSID (2018), which looked at the biological mechanics of the virus. HIV has informed his current interest in viruses of the mind such as the Paisley Pattern or the memes that religious cults use to recruit participants. Recent exhibitions include: Queer Algorithms (Gus Fisher Gallery, 2020); Co-Factors (Suttie Arts Space, 2020); Brexit Gothic (DKUK, 2019); Crep Suzette - A Shoe Show (with Bert McLean, 2019); The Fourth Wall (Look Again Festival Aberdeen, 2019); Booze Guitar (Matt’s Gallery, 2018); CAPSID (CGP and HOME, 2018); Somewhere in Between (Wellcome Collection, 2018); Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness (Hayward Touring Exhibitions, 2017); Coming Out: Sexuality Gender and Identity (Walker Art Gallery, 2017). www.johnwalter.net
AA Bronson is a Canadian artist living and working in Berlin. From 1969 to 1994 he was a member of the artist group General Idea with Felix Partz and Jorge Zontal. They were well-known for their magazine FILE (1972-1989), their unrelenting production of artist’s books and low-cost multiples, and their early involvement in punk, queer theory, AIDS activism, and other manifestations of the Other.
General Idea’s AIDS logo appropriated Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE logo. It was expressed in paintings, sculpture, posters, wallpaper, stamps, billboards and even the Times Square Spectacolor Board as part of their IMAGEVIRUS project. It first appeared in 1987, and over the course of the next seven years, the logo spread like a virus in galleries, magazines, subways, trams, public spaces and city streets across the world.
Jack Hughes is an award winning, London-based illustrator whose characters live in a glamorous, colourful world that feels part fever-dream, part cosmic cocktail party. Brought to life through a subtle use of shadow and tone, negative space and vibrant colours, Jack’s work is unique and arresting.
Kai-Isaiah Jamal is a London-based poet, performer, model and trans visibility activist. They proudly and tenderly collaborate with institutions and brands to represent the misrepresented or unrepresented, helping to create greater visibility for trans people, particularly those who are also people of color. I-D cover star, vogue special edition writer and resident poet at the ICA alongside a catalogue of brands, platforms and magazines they passionately diversifiy the literary space with work that promotes the voices and safety of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Joy Yamusangie is a visual artist, currently working in London. Specialising in illustration, Joy experiments with a range of traditional processes such as drawing, painting and collaging to produce mixed media pieces. Exploring socio-political themes from a personal perspective,Joy’s work takes the form of paperworks, clothing and paintings on cardboard. Their work explores themes of memory, intimacy, race and culture within the Congolese diaspora, from a personal perspective.
Yamusangie is also particularly interested in how archiving is incorporated into their practice. Inspiration is drawn from past conversations, places and moments, from Kinshasa shop fronts to fleeting interactions and conversations. By archiving routines and cultural practices through their pieces, Yamusangie’s work exists to preserve memories and stories. Each individual piece documents and retells moments, creating a physical permanence to past experiences from the artists’ life.
Alex Mein (b.1981) is an artist and lecturer living and working in London. Through drawing he explores identity and observation. His work often concerns people in public spaces; using sketchbooks to quickly respond to passersby glimpsed on public transport, the street or local cafes. He also draws subjects, often from the LGTBQIA+ community, in their domestic spaces. These colourful, figurative portraits on paper express his empathy and admiration for his subjects and feature a use of texture and pattern informed by his background in fashion design. He has worked with brands such as Liberty London, Mulberry and Nike and currently lectures in Fashion Imaging and Illustration at London College of Fashion, UAL
Wednesday is a London based Illustrator, Designer, Writer and Queer community organiser with Voices 4 London and Far and Pride.
Their main art project is based on instagram, where Wednesday shares artworks, photographs and writing about and for queer people to a global audience. Wednesday’s work seeks to provide education, empathy and kindness. Their art covers a range of topics such as TGNCI advocacy, mental health, recovery and unity. Alongside this Wednesday makes pro bono artworks for queer community organisations around the world.
Linder is known for her photography, radical feminist photomontage, and confrontational performance art. Emerging from the Manchester punk and post-punk scenes in the 1970s, Linder focuses on questions of gender, commodity and display. Her highly recognisable photomontage practice combines everyday images from domestic or fashion magazines with images from pornography and other archival material. Cut and collaged by hand using a scalpel and glue, the juxtapositions recall a rich art history harking back to Hannah Hoch and the Dadaists.
For her solo shows at the Hepworth Wakefield and Tate St. Ives in 2013, Linder collaborated with choreographer Kenneth Tindall of Northern Ballet for a major performance piece, The Ultimate Form (2013), inspired by the artist’s research into the work of Barbara Hepworth. Her residency at Tate St. Ives, also in 2013, was followed by her appointment in 2017 as the inaugural artist-in-residence of Chatsworth House where Linder created four installations that explored the female voice at Chatsworth in the centenary year of the Act of Representation. In 2018, Linder was artist-in-residence for Art on the Underground, creating an 85-metre-long street-level billboard at Southwark station and a cover commission for the 29th edition of the pocket Tube map.
This year, Linder was the subject of her first UK retrospective at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, which will tour to Hatton Gallery, Newcastle. Other recent solo exhibitions include Nottingham Contemporary and Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Linder’s work has been included in group exhibitions at Tate Modern, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Museum of Modern Art, Tate Britain, and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. In 2017, Linder was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award.
My name is Fredde Lanka. Originally from Sweden, for the last five years I have been based in London, working as an independent artist and educator. I work in a bold, colourful style across illustration, comics and ceramics. My work is humorous and strongly narrative and addresses topics ranging from queer culture, family dynamics and sex.
I have taught arts education courses at the Camden Art Centre and the Camberwell College of Arts. At Camden Arts Centre, I facilitate the Youth Collective. I am the artistic director for The Outside Project (UK’s first LGBTQIA+ Shelter and community centre) where I raise money, run workshops and facilitate the Project’s physical and digital spaces alongside the diverse group of stakeholders who use them.
Queer community is important to me. I believe that it is critical to recognise our own privilege and give back to the communities that inspire and educate my practice.
Born in 1968 in Remscheid, Germany, Wolfgang Tillmans is regarded as one of the most influential artists working within photography today. Since the early 1990s his work has epitomized a new kind of subjectivity in photography and expanded conventional ways of approaching the medium. Tillmans has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Turner Prize and the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. He has had prominent solo exhibitions at numerous international institutions and his work is held in museum collections worldwide.
Robert C. Gray, B. 1989, L/W Crawley. I am a contemporary artist and MA graduate of UAL Chelsea college of art, specialising in drawing and mixed media. I have recently applied my practice to clothing design and launched my own fashion brand ‘RCGwears’, selling upcycled (or ‘artcycled’) vintage and preworn clothing. The brand supports sustainable fashion by injecting imagination, colour and humour to tired and bland relics of the past; transforming them into one of one pieces.
Sunil Gupta is a Canadian citizen, (b. New Delhi 1953) MA (Royal College of Art) PhD (University of Westminster) who has been involved with independent photography as a critical practice for many years focusing on race, migration and queer issues.In the 1980s, Gupta constructed documentary images of gay men in architectural spaces in Delhi, his “Exiles” series. The images and texts describe the conditions for gay men in India at the times. Gupta’s recent series “Mr. Malhotra’s Party” updates this theme during a time in which queer identities are more open and also reside in virtual space on the internet and in private parties. His early documentary series “Christopher Street” was shot in the mid-1970s as Gupta studied under Lisette Model at the New School for Social Research and became interested in the idea of gay public space.
Gupta’s published work includes the monographs: Queer: Sunil Gupta (Prestel/Vadehra Art Gallery, 2011), Wish You Were Here: Memories of a Gay Life (Yoda Press, New Delhi, 2008), and Pictures From Here (Chris Boot Ltd., New York, 2003). He exhibited (with Charan Singh), “Dissent and Desire” (catalogue) is at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston 2018 which was accompanied by the book, Delhi: Communities of Belonging, The New Press, New York 2016. His last publication was Christopher Street, Stanley Barker 2018 and his forthcoming publications are Lovers: Ten Years On, Stanley Barker 2020 and Sunil Gupta: From Here to Eternity, Autograph 2020. His work has been seen in many important group shows including “Paris, Bombay, Delhi…” at the Pompidou Centre, Paris 2011 and “Masculinities” at Barbican, London 2020. His retrospective takes place at The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2020) and Ryerson Image Center, Toronto 2021. He is a Professorial Fellow at UCA, Farnham, Visiting Lecturer at Kingston University and Visiting Tutor at the Royal College of Art, London. He was Lead Curator for the Houston Fotofest 2018. His work is in many private and public collections including; George Eastman House (Rochester, USA), Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Royal Ontario Museum, Tate, Harvard University and the Museum of Modern Art.
His work is represented by Hales Gallery (New York, London), Stephen Bulger Gallery (Toronto) and Vadehra Art Gallery (New Delhi).
Hatty Carman is a London based musician and visual artist. Her work has been featured in Dazed Beauty, LOVE magazine, Cause & Effect, Out There and Strike magazine. In May 2018, Dazed & Confused named her as one of London’s creative breakouts, alongside ten other artists. For Pride 2019, she was photographed on the cover of Attitude magazine as one of 25 covers celebrating queers from across the scene to mark their 25th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
Hatty co-fronts the queer glam-rock band Thigh High, who have recently released two singles and featured on i-D and Gay Times. Thigh High’s debut album, set to be released in early 2021, seeks to put joyful queer politics front and centre stage. Hatty first encountered Positive East several years ago through her involvement in HIV Voices, an educational theatre group that aims to de-stigmatise HIV through story-telling. HIV Voices have used their events to raise money for the charity, and even performed an immersive theatre piece in the Positive East building.
Hatty has enjoyed designing for the Positive East T-shirt campaign, as she would like to lend her support to a charity providing vital services for people living with HIV today, especially under a government that has done all in its power to undermine the health system.
Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley is an artist working predominantly in digital media (Animation, sound and Video Games) to Archive the experiences of being a Black Trans person. Their practice focuses on recording the lives of Black Trans people, intertwining lived experience with fiction to imaginatively retell Trans stories. Throughout history, Black queer and Trans people have been erased from the archives. Because of this it is necessary not only to archive our existence, but also the many creative narratives we have used and continue to use to share our experiences.
Danielle's work has been shown in Science Gallery, MU, Barbican, Tate, Les Urbains and The Copeland Gallery. An online component of their work can often be found at daniellebrathwaiteshirley.com
Born in Zanzibar in 1954, Lubaina Himid is a British painter who has dedicated her four-decades-long career to uncovering marginalised and silenced histories, figures, and cultural expressions. She studied Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Art and went on to receive an MA in Cultural History from the Royal College of Art. Himid currently lives and works in Preston, UK, and is a professor at the University of Central Lancashire. She was the winner of the Turner Prize in 2017.
In 2021 Himid will present a major monographic exhibition at Tate Modern, London. Other current and forthcoming exhibitions include Risquons-Tout, WIELS, Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels, and Everyday Heroes, Southbank Centre, London (both 2020). Significant solo exhibitions include Spotlights, Tate Britain, London (2019); The Grab Test, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, The Netherlands (2019); Lubaina Himid, CAPC Bordeaux, France (2019); Work From Underneath, New Museum, New York (2019); Gifts to Kings, MRAC Languedoc Roussillon Midi-Pyrénées, Sérignan (2018); Our Kisses are Petals, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2018); The Truth Is Never Watertight, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe (2017); Navigation Charts, Spike Island, Bristol (2017); and Invisible Strategies, Modern Art Oxford (2017). Significant group exhibitions include En Plein Air, The High Line, New York (2019–2020); Sharjah Biennial 14, UAE (2019); Berlin Biennale (2018); The Place is Here, Nottingham Contemporary, UK (2017); Keywords, Tate Liverpool (2014); and Burning Down the House, Gwangju Biennale (2014). Her work is held in various museum and public collections, including Tate; British Council Collection; Arts Council Collection; UK Government Art Collection; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; National Museums Liverpool; Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. A monograph, titled Lubaina Himid: Workshop Manual, was released in 2019 from Koenig Books.