About Summer of Love
Summer of Love is a series of events and projects that celebrates human relationships, understanding and love between people.
Taking inspiration from the current exhibition Robert Indiana: Sculpture 1958–2018, the programme runs from the summer solstice to the autumn equinox. As well as sparking moments of pure, joyful connection, Summer of Love will investigate the complexities of love and community: how we relate to one another, to ourselves, and to our environments.
Throughout his career, Robert Indiana made works that alluded to his sexuality as a gay man, but due to the criminalisation of homosexuality at the time these references had to be discreet. Elements of the Summer of Love programme focus on LGBTQIA+ artists and consider how different and nuanced aspects of queer identity are expressed and represented in a contemporary context. An integral part of the programme is focused engagement work with a local Barnardo’s Positive Identities LGBTQIA+ youth group, led by YSP Learning.
In the Bothy Gallery, On Queer Ground(9 July – 4 September), presents powerful and poignant works by artists who explore the queer body and identity in relation to landscapes, both real and imagined. The exhibition features work by Claye Bowler, Whiskey Chow, Sade´ Mica, Ro Robertson, SHARP, and RA Walden. Robertson’s sculpture Stone (Butch) (2021) will also be shown, set in a new dialogue with parkland surroundings following its recent display as part of Sculpture in the City in London. Welcoming people of all ages, a range of events throughout the summer includes family celebration days in July and August, creative workshops and family walks on the theme of love.
A number of other projects touching on themes around human connections, rights, prejudice, access, love and loss will unfold across the Summer of Love. Featured artists include Roger Hiorns, Thahmina Begum, Jordan McKenzie, YARA + DAVINA, and Wakefield-born Jason Wilsher-Mills, whose outdoor display Jason and his Argonauts in Love features an enormous inflatable sculpture.
Visual artist and illustrator Soofiya has been selected from an open call for an LGBTQIA+ artist to create a vinyl mural which will be displayed in the YSP Centre restaurant, that celebrates the themes of Summer of Love, drawing together the many strands and sentiments of the programme.
(LGBTQIA+ is an acronym that encompasses people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual; the + refers to the many identities of sexuality and gender that are not cisgender and heterosexual.)
Explore the Summer of Love programme
More from Summer of Love
On Queer Ground–Rural environments are frequently seen as existing in opposition to queerness, with urban spaces typically being more accepting places for LGBTQIA+ people. This exhibition looks at ways in which queer artists are re-connecting with the landscapes around them by mapping and navigating their queer identity within these places, and disrupting traditional or prescribed ways of looking and understanding.
Jason Wilsher-Mills: Jason and his Argonauts in Love–Jason Wilsher-Mills uses iPads and Wacom tablets to create bright, celebratory and poignant works exploring themes of disability. His digital drawings are then translated into huge inflatable works or human-sized fibreglass sculptures. Colourful and bold, his works are acts of activism that are visually captivating and use their joyfulness to begin serious conversations.
YARA + DAVINA: Arrivals + Departures–Arrivals + Departures is an interactive installation that explores life and love through our experiences of birth and death, two emotive moments that are common to us all no matter who we are, and which can evoke huge depths of feeling.
Roger Hiorns: A Retrospective View of the Pathway–Roger Hiorns temporarily transforms the familiar YSP landscape with clouds of foam in this interactive artwork as part of the Summer of Love.
Jordan McKenzie: Shame Chorus–The feelings that arise from being forced to conceal your sexuality are a theme of McKenzie’s audio work Shame Chorus (2017). The artist refers to American writer Brene´ Brown who says that shame: “needs three things to grow... secrecy, silence and judgment”. These ideas of shame and secrecy resonate with issues that affected Robert Indiana’s own life.
- Art Outdoors
Ro Robertson: Stone (Butch)Robertson’s Stone (Butch) (2021) is part of a body of works exploring the terrain of the queer body in the landscape and was created by plaster casting directly in crevices in natural rock formations at Godrevy Point (St Ives Bay, Cornwall).