Artists in Reverence

March 16, 2016 0
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Happy Valley Pride’s very own artist, David Anthony Kennedy, has recruited the help and talents of fellow local artists, Francis Charlton and David Jarrett, to begin the process of turning a vulgar piece of homophobic graffiti into an inspiring piece of art. Soon to become a mascot for our organisation, we thought we would give you a sneak preview before the grand unveiling at the Happy Valley Pride Launch Fundraiser.

David and fellow Happy Valley Pride founder Darren preparing the tarpaulin
David and fellow Happy Valley Pride founder Darren preparing the tarpaulin

So how do you turn something so incredibly negative into something unapologetically positive? Well, it’s fairly easy. You own it. The graffiti originally bore the phrase “J** is a gay boy,” and it was this thoughtless scrawl that got us thinking in the first place. After our initial recoil, we began to wonder if the elusive subject was in fact a gay boy, and whether or not this was a direct homophobic assault, or if the culprit merely wished to offend a peer by spreading untrue gossip. Either way, we concluded, the message was loud and clear: being gay is bad.

Francis, deep in concentration
Francis, deep in concentration

We were concerned that somebody might have seen this and been made to feel ashamed of who they are, even momentarily. So, as the marker pen is mightier than the sword, we have begun transforming a message of hate into one of acceptance and love.

“A project involving the skills of three local artists, Francis Charlton, myself and David Jarrett. It’s evolving well, and is capturing the spirit of Happy Valley Pride, the diversity, the people, the Calder Valley and of the strength and love that we share. Happy Valley at its best.”

David Kennedy – Vice-chair, Happy Valley Pride

 

David A K and David J hard at work.
David A K and David J hard at work.

By the launch of Happy Valley Pride on Saturday, everybody who wishes to will have the opportunity to add their own message of support, and by the end of the evening the work will be complete.

Have you thought of yours yet?

Love
Team Happy Valley Pride

Mike Stephens

Mike is the founder and a director of Ayup Digital a creative digital agency in Yorkshire. Mike has over 10 years of industry experience, utilising web technologies to help clients improve their brand, communications and ROI. Mike has been volunteering with Manchester Pride since 2011 and has recently moved to Hebden Bridge with his partner. He is also the IT Director at TEDxSalford, one of the largest independent TED events in Europe.


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