Garth Gratrix & Chester Tenneson

 I don't want you to thank me. You can just...

 25.06.21 – 10.07.21

The exhibitions title is taken from from the song Hanky Panky by Madonna (1990); offering up a playfully seductive introduction for the artists first ever collaboration together. Both queer artists grew up through the 80's/90's during Section 28- a period of censorship and removal of LGBTQIA+ lives and voices. The exhibition explores relations between body and object, language and physicality, things and space.

Garth's work explores language and material in a way that remains slippery, curious and experimental. Often in collaboration as much as solo, the artist seeks to remain open and in allyship to experiences of change and difference. Alongside an inevitable flirtation with the kitschly camp- given the artists seaside origin and experiences of being peripheral and clandestine.

Chester’s work explores the absurdity within the norms of institutional design and authority, examining the idiosyncratic nature of commonplace objects and language. His position as a transgender man is important; his artworks frequently reflect his experience as an outsider from everyday norms and language, which have a cisgender base. His artworks question the absurdity of these everyday norms, playing with gendered gestures and objects, as well as more general rules and instructions which command our everyday experience and public placing.

Common ground between the artists is that of humour, formal play and combination of everyday objects and lived experiences. Both artists work across different media.

Chester and Garth have recently been selected to be part of the PIVOT programme, supported by Castlefield Gallery and The Bluecoat.

The exhibition is funded as part of Garth's 'In Collaboration with...' series, seeing four collaborations undertaken with queer artists across the UK, supported through Arts Council Englands, National Lottery Project Grant programme.