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Russell Tovey throws support behind new LGBTQ art space in London opening in 2022

Exclusive: "An arts and culture safe space for everyone in the community along with allies," is how QUEERCIRCLE trustee Russell describes the nonprofit

By Jamie Tabberer

Words: Jamie Tabberer; pictures: Provided

Russell Tovey is lending his support to a brand new LGBTQ art space opening in London’s Greenwich district in January 2022.

The recent Attitude cover star and art aficionado will serve as a trustee of QUEERCIRCLE, an LGBTQ+ led registered charity which will be located at the Design District on the Greenwich Peninsula.

Supported by the Greater London Authority, the space will offer a gallery space, library and project spaces to deliver a programme of exhibitions, collaborative artist residencies and year-long learning and participation opportunities.

The board of trustees also includes artists Isaac Julien CBE [pictured below] and Kudzanai Violet Hwami, and Artsy’s Gemma Rolls Bentley.

“We need that space for the community to use and feel welcomed by”

Speaking to Attitude, The Sister star Russell said: “I got involved with QUEERCIRCLE to be part of an exciting collective of like-minded people, looking to form and establish an incredible arts and culture safe space in London for everyone in the community along with allies – much like [The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center] in NYC, we need that space for the community to use and feel welcomed by.”

Asked why it’s important to have spaces for LGBTQ people to connect outside of bars and clubs, the 39-year-old responded: “With so many queer venues being closed up and down the country, a huge lifeline for the community is being cut off and as a community, we need a place where all members of the LGBTQI+ can feel safe, inspired and share our stories as well as learn more about our history and future.”

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A GoFundMe to raise the final target of £40,000 to open the space will run throughout Pride month, accompanied by a series of digital events. 

Amy Lamé, (Night Czar, Greater London Authority) commented: “The pandemic has been an incredibly challenging time for LGBTQ+ communities across the capital, and it’s vital that we all do what we can to offer our support. At City Hall we’ve been working hard to protect LGBTQ+ venues and support artist studios before and during the pandemic, and Queercircle’s proposed cultural space will be a real boost.

“Opening a high quality, dedicated space where LGBTQ+ artists can thrive is not only timely, but essential.”

Asked which LGBTQ writers and artists he’d like to see present in the QUEERCircle library, Russell replied: “David Robilliard, Derek Jarman, David Wojnarowicz, James Baldwin, Octavia Butler, Wolfgang Tillmans, Peter Hujar, Robert Mapplethorpe, Catherine Opie.”

The Attitude July issue is out now.

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