The exhibition will be open at Paul Smith Beak Street from 30June – 28 August 2023.
“This year, to mark Pride 2023, we’ve worked with four incredible artists – Fiona Quadri, Megan Elliott, Queen Josephine, and Miles Coote – to create original pieces for a special exhibition at our Beak Street shop in London’s Soho opening just in time for the city’s incredible Pride parade.”
As much as we often see Pride as a period of celebration, our thoughts around this time of year often turn to reflection – and that’s just one of the reasons we partner with MindOut, the Brighton-based LGBTQ+ charity dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer mental health through their listening service and beyond. And this year, to mark Pride 2023, it was important to us to showcase the voices of people from the community, through the medium they know best: their art. We’ve worked with four incredible artists – Fiona Quadri, Megan Elliott, Queen Josephine, and Miles Coote – to create original pieces for a special exhibition at our Beak Street shop in London’s Soho opening just in time for the city’s incredible Pride parade.
50% of the purchase price from the sale of each work will be donated to MindOut* while the artists will receive the other 50%. In addition, we will also donate 50% of the proceeds from all PS Paul Smith Happy sales made in the UK, US, France online and in store between 30 June – 6 July 2023 to MindOut. Read more about the artists, their thoughts on Pride and what they’re trying to say with their work below.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is a political day of celebration for LGBTQIA+ identifying people. It is a moment for me to celebrate my identity and relationship with my partner who I love.
How does Pride manifest itself in your work in the exhibition?
In my artwork I create a representation of gender and sexuality through Queer Life Drawing and Painting. My Paintings explore the visual language of contemporary art made by LGBTQIA+ artists, with a focus on queer auto ethnography as a method of storytelling and semi fiction.
What does mental health mean to you?
My mental health and resilience is extremely important in my day to day practice and can challenge the artworks I make and the ability to make them. It can be affected by the agency I feel I have to make a change in my life and social change in society. By developing the Queer Life Drawing Conversation project and working with people who have faced prejudice or discrimination because of their gender, sexuality, and race and disability, has helped me and others to come together and empower our experiences, knowledge, and mental health.
How does Pride affect your mental health?
Going to Pride and walking in the march was a really exciting experience. I marched with my partner in the Out to Swim team and we all wore our swimming costumes and trainers – revealing our queer bodies. It was a time to be political and socialise with new people and make new friends.
Why did you become an artist?
The career I chose was based on my experiences of drawing and painting. I can remember sitting at a table and drawing the human figure from memory when I was 3 to 4 years old. Art making has been an intimate way of communicating and also learning about my gender and sexuality.
What are you trying to say with your work?
My artwork is queer. It exists as Queer Art.