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Painting for Peter Tatchell / 20 June 2011

painting of Peter Tatchell using stencils and bright colours

Painting of Peter Tatchell by Vince Laws.

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On July 1st the Norwich Pride Portrait show opens at St Gregory’s Church of Art, Pottergate, Norwich. Inspired by this I’ve worked on a series of self-portraits, 3 done, another on the way. I’m not interested in what I look like, but what represents me. And then I thought I’d like to try and represent someone else – but who to choose?

I’ve chosen Peter Tatchell. I haven’t always admired him, to my shame. When I was a closeted younger man, I used to wish he would keep his big mouth shut and stop rocking the boat while he and others were demanding queer rights. But gradually, over the years, I’ve mended my ways. Nowadays, even when I don’t agree with him, I admire and respect him for his views and his courage in facing down bigotry and inequality.

Peter has spoken out on a host of topics, including AIDS, Animal Rights, Asylum, Civil Liberties, Disability Rights, Free Speech, LGBT Rights, Murder Music, Pornography, Religion, Sex Education, and Social Justice.

I have decided to auction off this painting in support of Peter Tatchell’s human rights work, with all the money going to Peter. The bidding will end at 5pm on July 30th 2011, the day of Norwich Pride itself. You can donate direct to Peter via his website.