Let Me Hold YouMichaela Yearwood-Dan
We are delighted to present Michaela Yearwood-Dan’s “Let Me Hold You”
for our inaugural exhibition.
JUNE 8 - SEPTEMBER 8 2022
Michaela Yearwood-Dan’s work refuses the binary expectations of racial or gendered notions of collective identity and history. Resisting the clichés and strictures of representation, Yearwood-Dan presents their true self - their desires, their needs, their pain and their love - and empowers us as the viewer to do so too; to prioritise self and collective actualisation.
Michaela Yearwood-Dan’s “Let Me Hold You” sets the tone for our new home as we move forward - a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community. A sweeping curved mural embraces visitors, creating a sanctuary for visitors to confront their own true selves in a safe and holistic environment. Ceramic sculptures and furniture encourage visitors to rest, contemplate, and connect with others.
Utilising flora and fauna motifs, Yearwood-Dan refutes the concept that LGBTQ+ people are “unnatural”. Instead she visualises the interconnectedness of the human and non-human experience, all the while expanding our understanding of what it means to be queer and to love.
“The moment we choose to love we begin to move against domination, against oppression. The moment we choose to love we begin to move toward freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. That action is the testimony of love as the practice of freedom.” - bell hooks
As nature and marginalised communities continue to be exploited around the world - compounded by the effects of climate change disproportionately impacting marginalised communities - Michaela Yearwood-Dan provides a vital tonic; encouraging us to adopt love as an action against societal and ecological injustice.
About the artist
Michaela Yearwood-Dan’s work reflects on subjectivity and individual identity as forms of self-determination. Whilst her work may be underpinned by an expansive and multivalent repertoire of cultural signifiers borrowing freely from blackness, healing rituals, flora, texting, acrylic-nails, gold-hoops, carnival culture, these reference points enable her to present and privilege the variance of her own individual experience. As such, her work refuses to be framed by narrow expectations of racial or gendered notions of collective identity and history. She defamiliarizes many of those reference points in her work resisting the clichés and strictures of representation.
“Let Me Hold You” is generously supported by
Winsor & Newton and Arts Council England.