Hello, my name is Lynn Wray and I’m working as a researcher on the fine and decorative art strand of the Pride and Prejudice project.
I will be researching the collections at the Walker Art Gallery, the Lady Art Lever Gallery and Sudley House, looking for objects that relate to LGBT artists, culture and history, same-sex love and desire, or explore themes of gender identity. These stories, covering objects from costume and fashion design to classical and contemporary painting and sculpture, contemporary installation and video art to ceramic and glass, will be made available through our online collections pages as the project develops.
I am particularly interested in how art museum displays and collections actively shape our understanding of history and culture. This project has given me the welcome opportunity to focus on how we can better reflect our whole culture and history, by both recognising the contribution of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender artists and by identifying objects that have specific relevance to these communities.
I also hope to use the objects in our collections to draw attention to how ideas and images relating to same-sex relationships and gender identity have been differently expressed over time. I will look at how such ideas have been hidden, communicated through symbols and metaphors, or censored in art, due to the social attitudes of their time. In my view, this concerns how we all understand and talk about love, desire, sexuality, and gender.
As well as working on this project, I am currently in the final stages of completing my PhD at Liverpool John Moores University. My research for this is extremely relevant to the Pride and Prejudice project as it examines how curators can challenge the dominant stories told in art museums, and their usual methods of making exhibitions. Prior to taking up this position I also produced my own art and exhibitions. I studied Environmental Art and Illustration at degree level at Glasgow School of Art and completed my MA RCA in Communication Art and Design at the Royal College of Art.
I would love to hear different views and perspectives on both the specific objects in the collection and the wider project. If you would like to get in touch please email: Lynn.Wray@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk