An art exhibition offering young queer people a creative outlet to deal with their sexuality will open this week.
The exhibition — Fusion — will be held in Northcote and will offer young queer artists a space to show their work publicly.
Fusion curator Alexander Edwards told the Star Observer the idea for the exhibition came from a lack of other avenues for young queer artists to express themselves.
“I noticed that in the Midsumma program in particular, in the visual arts program, there wasn’t anything specifically for young queer people, so I decided that needed to be addressed,” Edwards said.
“I’ve been aware for a long time of the risk that young queer people face in terms of growing up with bullying and self-harm … and art is always a great way of expressing and dealing with things when sometimes you can’t talk about things.
“I thought it’d be a good idea to give young queer artists a voice.”
Edwards said he received around 50 submissions when the call was put out last month.
“At least half of those are really strong submissions, works which are really dealing with strong themes and artists who have a really strong message,” he said.
Edwards said a range of themes, not just sexuality, is explored in the works.
“The rules basically were if you’re young and queer and an artist, anything you have to say about anything is important.
“So some of it is very same-sex orientated and some of it’s just about being a teenager growing up.”
A range of work will be on display during the month-long exhibition including photography, drawing, painting and performance art.
The project is being led by queer youth support group Minus18 and supported by the ALSO Foundation.
Fusion will show at Synergy Gallery, 253 High St, Northcote. Opening night is on April 14, and the exhibition runs until the end of April.
IMAGE: Liam Wright