Queer and the City / by Leo Crane

Starkers was proud to host one of the many Pride in London events for 2017, celebrating Queerness at the Royal Institute of British Architects. A large group of Pride goers, architects and Starkers regulars descended on RIBA’s Art Deco headquarters for the only creative workshop in the 2017 Pride in London calendar.

After a welcome from Starkers hosts Leo and Roy, models Lidia and Pinto Nan posed against projections from the world’s greatest architectural collections, images of cities as Queer history was being made.

Lidia’s two-minute poses where dramatically framed by New York’s World Trade Centre, whose Twin Towers rose as civil rights marches gave birth to the Pride parades we know today.  Pinto’s two-minute poses were in the shadow of the Parthenon, at a time when Socrates and the leading lights of male Athenian society were discussing the nature of Love.

Lidia and Pinto joined each other on stage after the quick-draw warm-ups, at one point in Weimar Berlin (thank you Christopher Isherwood) and another in present-day Taiwan, the first East Asian country to legalise same-sex marriage.  They journeyed the globe, from Reykjavík in 2009, when Iceland elected the first gay head of government, to the Khajuraho temple complex in Madhya Predesh, India, where sculptural adornment includes joyous depictions of polyamorous and same-sex sex groupings.

They ended in London, forming a dynamic tableau against the capital 50 years ago, when the revelations of the Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution (a.k.a, the Wolfenden report) were finally enshrined in law, a first step towards the decriminalisation of gay male homosexuality in the UK.

The Starkers team would like to thank everyone who made Queer and the City a roaring success, including our partners RIBA and Pride in London, models Lidia and Pinto Nan and, last but always most important, everyone who came and created not just amazing drawings but a truly exuberant, celebratory time.

Starkers will be returning to our adopted home, The Glory, for monthly life drawing on September 12th, 7 – 9pm.  We’ll be bringing you the Starkers Academy 3, showcasing new life models raring to show what they can do.

We'll also be teaming up with Late Night Library Club at Sutton House, Hackney, for their Queer Stories in Britain series to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality (The Sexual Offences Act). See the LNLC Facebook page for more details and to book tickets.

Can’t draw? Who cares! All abilities are welcome.

Photos by Diego Pinto