While myths of beauty and ideas around body shape, fitness, even obesity are hotly debated in mainstream culture, some people have found acceptance in new movements, formed new alliances, and set in motion new ideas, they are "LOVED." Those ideas are explored in the gallery production of "LOVED," now available for (masked) viewing in London:
While we perform various versions of ourselves, beneath the surface there are shared anxieties and personal truths.
"LOVED" is about looking at those emotions, about finding out what we are, and exploring the intersectional realities of our identities.
"LOVED" is a show that incorporates large format illustrations, sound installation composed score, and sound design. It explores themes of masculinity, sexuality, joy, anger, and non-conforming.
The sitters and interviewees have been chosen from around the world, with their only shared feature being that they in some way self identify as part of the Bear Community, a subculture of queer men that has developed mostly in the last 20 years.
"LOVED" is a gallery collaboration between two artists, visual artist Charlie Hunter and sound designer and filmmaker Mike Wyeld.
The installation is an exploration of (sexual) identity. The prints show the outward signs of bear identity; the sound installation and technical elements open up the details of this (now global) community to scrutiny - the sitters and others discuss what a "bear" might be and much more.
To date, "LOVED" has found homes in galleries in the United States, Estonia, Finland, the United Kingdom, and Canada with more shows planned around the world.
A book detailing the images and interviews is currently being planned and executed.
"LOVED" is a collaborative art project made with the generous participation of sitters and interviewees from around the world. Launched in 2015, "LOVED" is an art project documenting the lives of bears, chasers, fellow travellers, and more.
Charlie Hunter is an illustrator/artist working in mixed media, print and digital.
His illustration work has appeared in the Sunday Times, GQ and the BBC. He has also done book covers for Fourth Estate and Orion.
Charlie has always pursued his personal art projects in tandem with his advertising work. Over the last 10 years his artwork has been in group shows in Australia, Toronto, Manchester, and London. He has also had his artwork published in three Bruno Gmunder Anthologies, Hair, Big Love and Fur: The Love of Hair.
Mike Wyeld is a sound artist and film maker and is interested in the methods and processes of creating sound, and in listening. Mike's sound design work has been heard in galleries around the world, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Art, and Sonar D in Barcelona, among many others.
As a Sound Designer and Mixer his work has been heard on the BBC and Channel 4 in the UK in addition to Adult Swim in the United States. Mike has written for Harper Collins Publishers, Lawrence and Wishart and MTV.
Mike Wyeld is a Lecturer in Sound Design and Post-Production in Film and Television in the School of Creative Arts on BA and MA programmes at the University of Hertfordshire.