In an earlier post I discussed a diptych I had created (below), which was inspired by the artist Hiroshi Sugimoto’s seascapes. Originally I thought the boat disrupting the tranquil, secure environment of the seascape (as Sugimoto describes it) was an appropriate analogy for the way countries such as Uganda are hindering the progression of equal rights for the LGB community. But recently I have noticed more disturbing oppressive behaviour much closer to home.
Former Labour minister David Lammy responded to numerous homophobic and racist comments coming from the UK Independence Party’s (UKIP) members, Lammy said ‘the country was “on the cusp of a serious bit of self-mutilation”in backing UKIP. “Many of its candidates are saying terible things about people who are gay.”
One of the first oppressive comments that I came across from a UkIP member was from UKIP counciller David Silvester who had blamed the storms across Britain earlier this year on the governments decision to legalise gay marriage. But the most recent comment made by a UKIP member was from Paul Forrest, a local election candidate in Liverpool, who had ‘linked homosexuality to pedophilia’. Forrest had said that ‘gay men are “ten times more likely” to be child abusers than “normal men”‘. Not only has this candidate made oppressive comments regarding gay men he’s also targeted religious groups, describing the catholic church as “the antichrist” and the “end of Islam is coming and that it’s followers who refuse to turn to christ will be gone”. It has also emerged that a stockport UKIP candidate refereed to Islam as ‘evil’ and “Pakistan should be ‘nuked'”.
UKIP MEP Roger Helmer has consistently made homophobic comments, stating that same-sex relationships are not worthy of the same respect as ‘traditional’ relationships and that the public should be aloud to openly dislike gay people. Roger Helmer says “marriage is defined by history, culture and reproductive biology and deserves special respect in society. (I am) perfectly relaxed about other relationships but they don’t justify the same respect”. Nigel Farage, UKIP’s leader, has attempted to defend the views Helmer has about homosexuality. The reason for this being that ‘”most” over 70’s feel uncomfortable about gays’. Farage has attempted to justify Hemlmers comments by saying grew ‘grew up with a strong christian bible background’ and that he grew up in a time when ‘homosexuality was actually imprisonable’.
For the leader of the party to try and excuse these comments made by an MEP is quite worrying for the LGB community, especially as they are growing in popularity. It appears that these comments are being overlooked and brushed aside, seeing as they carry on to gain power. The affects of a political party who have these views gaining power would be devastating to gay rights in this country.
In response to this I have developed the diptych above to the series of photographs below. Extending the seascape so that this horizon is exaggerated, as a result exaggerating the secure environment as described by Sugimoto. But still having the boat within the scene to disrupt the seascape’s clean, perfect horizon. I’ve decided to print the photographs small so that the viewer is tempted to step in close to the photographs and become immersed within the seascape.
I have also experimented by making an animation with the two original images in the diptych, as a way of representing this coming and going of a secure environment. But I have decided to use he series of photographs to address the topic discussed within this post.