Assembly Blackpool: The Coast Is Queer

Led by Garth Gratrix from Abingdon Studios

Assembly Blackpool took place online via Zoom on Tuesday 28 September, 10am – 4.30pm & Wednesday 29 September, 10am – 4.30am

The event was free, as part of a-n membership.

Garth Gratrix, artist and Founding Director of Abingdon Studios, will be logging in from Blackpool to host a-n’s first digital Assembly of 2021. The Coast Is Queer is a two-day event inviting artists, artist-led spaces, organisations and institutions who are located on the edges of the UK, to open a discussion on coastal practice and queerness.

The event aims to address curiosity around the clandestine ways in which LGBTQIA+ artists live, work and cruise materials and spaces alone, apart and together. Contributors to the event will raise questions; How do we work to define or refine a future arts sector that considers ‘queerness’ as a better starting point to ‘new-normal’? How might we collaborate with the coast, as a space for solidarity, new systems of support and respite?

Assembly Blackpool will create space to share lived experiences of being LGBTQIA+ and promenade our future queer potential. Contributions include a breakout session with Dr Susan Jones, former Director of a-n, a new sound and film commission and an open call opportunity to LGBTQIA+ artists living on the coast.

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Abingdon Studios is a member of the Guild 2019-2023 cohort. a-n Assembly 2021 is developed in partnership with Guild, East Street Arts’ sector support programme supporting and empowering artists to help them create more resilient and sustainable work via artists’ spaces.