Rudy Hanamji of PrideTT says the Iere exhibition creates a space for the interrogation of the silenced and often persecuted LGBTQ+ community, while creating a space for art that expresses the queer experience. "Those who love us can revel in the energy and beauty that flows."
The title Iere, which means land of the hummingbird, is not only the name of TT, but according to Hanamji is a perfect representation of the creative genius within the people of TT. This, he said, undoubtedly manifests within members of the local LGBTQI community.
The inaugural exhibition, which opened on July 1 at LofTT Gallery at 63 Rosalino Street, Woodbrook, features work from Wayne Berkeley, Stuart Hahn, Amanda McIntyre, Stacy Wells, Peter Sheppard, Abigail Hadeed and Shalini Seereeram, to name a few. The opening featured a panel discussion on LGBTQ+ art and artists, with panellists Adele Todd, Peter Sheppard and Anthony Medina.
Throughout the exhibition there will be a silent auction of one of Wayne Berkeley's Carnival dolls.
In a release about the exhibition, Hanamji said, "For generations the creative work of these and others have fuelled national and global development and inspired the hearts of many straight (heterosexual) people." He said, however, too often members of the LGBTQI+ community are not offered the opportunity to support these queer artists, who are then at times constrained to produce work for an audience that view the world in a different way, based on the experiences which differ from those of a queer person.
In the release, LofTT said the gallery is proud to showcase the work of a segment of the society which has, for a long time "been subject to ridicule, harassment, inequality, injustice, shame and persecution in many forms due to their sexual identity and orientation."
The exhibition closes on July 12.