- The artist is well-known for his work on issues relating to queer identity and HIV/AIDS
- The psychedelic, rainbow coloured artworks will be displayed at Tube stations across London
Art on the Underground has teamed up with not-for-profit gallery Studio Voltaire and This is Clapham, to celebrate the work of late Australian artist and activist, David McDiarmid.
‘Rainbow Aphorisms’ (1993-1995), are a series of short and bold statements set on full rainbow backgrounds which reference McDiarmid’s experience of the AIDS crisis. This is the first major presentation of the artist’s work in the UK.
The vibrant, rainbow coloured artworks, ‘THE FAMILY TREE STOPS HERE DARLING, DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER and GIRLFRIEND OUR LIFE IS ONE OF LIGHTS AND SHADOWS’ , will be displayed above the entrance to Brixton Underground station and at stations across London.
Speaking about his work in 1992, McDiarmid said, “I wanted to express myself and I wanted to respond to what was going on and I wanted to reach a gay male audience. I wanted to express very complex emotions and I didn’t know how to do it … I was in a bit of a dilemma. I thought, well, how can I get across these complex messages. I didn’t think it was simply a matter of saying gay is good.”
Eleanor Pinfield, Head of Art on the Underground, said: “Art on the Underground enriches people’s journeys on the Tube each day with innovative approaches to public art. By partnering with Studio Voltaire on their first public project, we can bring the complex, colourful works of ‘Rainbow Aphorisms’ to a new audience across London, challenging familiar messaging around HIV / AIDS.”
Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture & Creative Industries, said: “I’m delighted that David McDiarmid’s colourful, poignant and powerful works will be displayed across London’s largest art gallery – the London Underground. McDiarmid was a trailblazing gay activist and the Tube network is the perfect way to showcase his messages about living with HIV/AIDS to a wider audience, particularly in the run up to World Aids Day in December.”
Over the course of a year, artworks will also appear on Studio Voltaire’s facade and neighbouring LGBTQ+ venue Two Brewers, and other temporary locations across Clapham and Brixton. There will also be a number of public events held – more information can be found here: art.tfl.gov.uk and studiovoltaire.org
The project has been mounted with the support and involvement of the David McDiarmid Estate in Sydney.