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Photographer Stuart Linden Rhodes to Reminisce on Blackpool’s Queer Nightlife

a colour image illustrating queer culture in Blackpoole

Heritage project to host an artist’s talk as part of an outdoor photography exhibition celebrating Blackpool’s queer nightlife.

Photographer and journalist, Stuart Linden Rhodes, captured his collection of images between 1991 and 1995, touring the country and documenting parties, protests and pride parades.

Seven of Stuart’s Blackpool images are on display outside the Grundy Art Gallery until Saturday June 11 as part of the ‘We’re still here…’ heritage project led by Abingdon Studios and artists Garth Gratrix and Harry Clayton-Wright.

The talk with Stuart Linden Rhodes takes place at 3pm on Wednesday April 13 at the Grundy Art Gallery. For more information, to share your story or to book a free ticket for Stuart’s talk visit www.abingdonstudios.co.uk and click ‘We’re still here…’

Stuart said “Blackpool gay scene in the 1990s was party time, from pretty young, fashionable things, to the traditional leather-clad or dungaree wearing – everyone was warmly welcomed. There was never a dull night and my photographs from that time hopefully capture some of the atmosphere, diversity and sheer happiness of those years. I am truly honoured to be part of this exciting exhibition celebrating the queer heritage of Blackpool, and share a few of the photographs I took on those fantastic nights, which I look back on with great fondness.”

Initially, Stuart kept the images in his loft for more than twenty years but started scanning the negatives during the 2020 lockdown and set up his popular Instagram account @linden_archives. Two years on, and after features in Vice, BBC Radio 6 Music, the Manchester Evening News and a host of other publications, Stuart has now released his first book ‘Out & About With Linden: A Queer Archive of the North,’ with the foreword written by Harry.

Harry said: “I’m delighted that we’re able to bring Stuart to Blackpool as part of the ‘We’re Still Here…’ project. Stuart’s images give a snapshot of the past that I’m sure will spark many happy memories for members of the local queer community.”

Alongside the exhibition and talk, Harry and Garth will continue to collect oral histories from LGBTQ+ people living, working and studying in Blackpool, to create the first online archive focused on the queer heritage of the town. Anyone who would like to share their story or memories is encouraged to visit the Abingdon Studios website to get in touch with the project.

Garth adds: “Blackpool has the highest LGBTQ+ population in Lancashire but has no permanent archive that documents the lived experiences of our community, and we believe this project will begin to address that.  We want to hear from as many people as possible so we can capture stories for the next generation before they disappear.

The talk with Stuart Linden Rhodes takes place at 3pm on Wednesday April 13 at the Grundy Art Gallery. For more information, to share your story or to book a free ticket for Stuart’s talk visit https://abingdonstudios.org.uk/were-still-here/

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  • I have worked in the housing and transport professions for several local authorities, specialising in policy, strategy preparation and bid writing. Having always had an interest in film, the visual arts in general, theatre, music and lterature, I thought it would be good to combine the writing experience with these interests to contribute to altBlackpool. In addition to writing, my hobbies include watercolour and pastel painting, photography, woodwork, cycling and vegetable gardening.

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