As part of Pride on Campus and LGBT+ History Month celebrations, local textile artist Hannah Wisdom created a stunning portrayal of Smeaton's Tower using textiles to help celebrate the LGBT+ community in Plymouth. As well as being a textile artist, Hannah is a professional accreditation co-ordinator in the Faculty of Health and was delighted to have her print featured in the national textile magazine, 'Be Creative', in their June edition.
Hannah's 'Pride in Plymouth' piece sees Plymouth's famous Smeaton's tower in a rainbow of colours representing the LGBT+ Pride flag.
The rainbow flag is synonymous with the gay civil rights movement and still holds enormous significance to the LGBT+ community around the world. It was created by artist, Gilbert Baker in San Francisco in the 1970s. The colours of the flag each represent a different aspect of LGBT identity: Red means life, orange represents healing, yellow is for sunlight encouraging people to be themselves and not hide in the shadows, green represents nature, blue is serenity and finally purple represents the spirit needed to keep going in the fight for equality.
The University of Plymouth recently reiterated it's support for LGBT+ equality by raising it's own custom-made Pride flag on campus for the first time, acting as a constant visible reminder to staff, students and visitors that we celebrate our diverse community and all they bring to campus. The flag will fly on campus on a permanent basis and has been warmly welcomed by both staff and students.
Whilst Pride on Campus, organised by UPSU's LGBTQ+ Society, couldn't be held as usual this year, it was instead held virtually with a week of online events and performances celebrating Pride. Earlier this year as part of LGBT+ History Month, the LGBT+ Staff Forum worked with the central Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team to put together a programme of events from seminars to movie nights remembering the LGBT+ fight for civil rights. Their work was recently recognised by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Judith Petts CBE, as part of National Day for Staff Networks on Wednesday 13 May.
"As a textile artist, I show my works in the Kaya Gallery on Plymouth Barbican. I sew rescued scraps of fabric onto old discarded Admiralty sea charts to create works which reference our locality and heritage, culture and wildlife. The charts provide an immediate linkage to the environment of the subject, and I love how their scars and blemishes add an extra layer of context and history to the work." - Hannah Wisdom