The Queer Britain

Award 2021

ILLUSTRATIONS COURTESY OF JUSTIN KEMP

Queer Britain has teamed up with wine brand Madame F to launch The Queer Britain Madame F Award. This year’s theme is Queer Creativity, inspired by illustrator Justin Kemp, who designed the Susy the Frog image featured on the Madame F wine label.

Entrants sent us illustrations, paintings, drawings and photographs that celebrate the theme of Queer Creativity, along with a statement explaining what that means to them. There are three cash prizes and winning entrants will be exhibited by Queer Britain. Winning images will also help support the mission of Queer Britain in setting up our national LGBTQ+ museum, for all, by featuring on official QB merchandise.

£1,500 PRIZE WINNER

Awarded to Sadie Lee

FIRST PRIZE

“My paintings are realistic renderings of real people who sit for me. Frequently drawn from Queer communities, they depict and celebrate queer otherness and focus on the fabulous, the invisible, the marginalised and those who wear their identity on their sleeve. My submission is a painting of the artist David Hoyle. Regarded by many as Queer Royalty, David's work often highlights inequalities and can be at once uplifting, challenging, euphoric and uncomfortable. As in all my work, the painting centres the subject from their perspective and the concept was developed through discussion and mutual input. In that sense I see my paintings as collaborations with my sitters.

£1,000 PRIZE WINNER

Awarded to Paul Harfleet

SECOND PRIZE

This piece is a component of Birds Can Fly, a body of work by Paul Harfleet. He studies the birds he draws and then using his own wardrobe, styling and make-up skills, ‘gently references’ the birds he studies. This body of work celebrates a life-long love of ornithology and is a queer exploration that delves into the politics of ornithology. Birds have been largely categorised by straight white European zoologists, indigenous names and knowledge lost and side-lined. Paul playfully and subtly echoes the plumage and demeanour of the birds, and celebrates the connection between the frequent flamboyance of male birds and the connection to drag.

Awarded to Nathan Johnson

THIRD PRIZE

“I have been fascinated by incorporating LGBT politics and historical archives together to create fictional narratives that influence our perception of queer identity within the public sphere. I decided to shift my attention to more personal forms of archives such as family photo albums. This resonated with me as a member of the gay community who envisioned how my families social and political views would have evolved if they had LGBT influences in their formative years. I also speculated over the influence family photo albums have on the idealisation of heteronormativity and the nuclear family. This image taken from my most current project, “Our Kodak Moment” delves into the heteronormative environment of family photography and the influence photo albums can have on our perceptions of the nuclear family through the rose-tinted lens of the past. With the incorporation of both modern queer icons and vintage photographs, LGBT representation is brought to the forefront in this reimagining of the idyllic family utopia.”

Atlas Easton / Jack Smith / Jade Green / Marius Els / Matthew Mifsud / Matthew Robins / Will Wilcox

SPECIAL MENTION

“I am proud to be on this jury. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate LGBTQ+ people, of all ages, and our artistic endeavours. Queer Britain is working very hard to set up a national LGBTQ+ museum, and this award shows that queer creativity is at its very heart.”

KATE CHARLESWORTH

Cartoonist, Artist and Award Judge

ROBERT TAYLOR
Photographer and Artist

MARK KING

Visual Director, Queer Britain


KATE CHARLESWORTH
Cartoonist and Artist

ROXY BOURDILLON
Editor, DIVA magazine

JUSTIN KEMP

Illustrator and Dot Doodler

The judges looked for originality, overall artistic impression, and response to theme.

IAIN MUGGOCH

Chief Bottle Filler, Madame F

BEN GOLIK
Chief Creative Officer, M&C Saatchi

ASIFA LAHORE
UK’s First out Muslim Drag Queen

ALIA ROMAGNOLI
Photographer and Artist

MEET THE JUDGES 

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