Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Queer Canada No 4 - The Brunswick Four

For the 150th anniversary of Canada's colonialism, I have created a series of collages celebrating some of Canada's queer icons. They will be exhibited in the window of The Button Factory in Waterloo, Ontario for their Views 150 exhibition on June 23, 2017. Throughout the collages I've used the traditional colours of the pride rainbow, as well as brown and black to represent the queer people of colour that have made Canada great.

Here is the fourth one, honouring The Brunswick Four.

THE BRUNSWICK FOUR

Four lesbians were involved in a historic incident in Toronto on January 5th 1974. On that night Adrienne Potts, Pat Murphy, Sue Wells and Heather Elizabeth performed the song “I Enjoy Being A Dyke” (a parody of “I Enjoy Being a Girl”) at an amateur night at the Brunswick Tavern, a working-class beer hall on Bloor Street. They refused to leave after being asked to by the bar owner, and were subsequently arrested. The women were physically and verbally assaulted by the police, and three were later tried in Ontario Court for obstruction of justice. Two of the women were acquitted, and one, Adrienne Potts, served three months’ probation.

Charges of assault by the police were laid after the women produced doctor’s notes and photos of their extensive bruises. Because the police officers exchanged hats and badge numbers, however, the women couldn’t accurately identify them. In response, the women refused to participate in the trial, calling it a sham and a miscarriage of justice. The women refused to rise despite several orders by the court clerk, and were charged with criminal contempt of court and led to the cells at Old City Hall. Potts and Elizabeth returned to court hours later to apologize but Murphy refused, earning 30 days in jail. The officers were acquitted.

The arrest of The Brunswick Four and subsequent trial was one of the first occasions that an LGBT+ topic received extensive coverage in the Canadian press. Gay historians believe it was a key incident that politicized the gay and lesbian liberation movement in Canada.

Queer Canada No 3 - Elsa Gidlow

For the 150th anniversary of Canada's colonialism, I have created a series of collages celebrating some of Canada's queer icons. They will be exhibited in the window of The Button Factory in Waterloo, Ontario for their Views 150 exhibition on June 23, 2017. 

Here is the second one, honouring Elsa Gidlow.

ELSA GIDLOW

Elsa Gidlow, born December 29, 1898 and died June 8, 1986, was a Canadian-American poet, journalist, and philosopher. She is best known for On A Grey Thread (1923), possibly the first volume of openly lesbian love poetry published in North America. In 1917, she co-published Les Mouches Fantastiques, one of the first gay magazines in Canada. In the 1950s Gidlow helped found Druid Heights, a bohemian community in California.
She was the author of thirteen books and discussed her life as a lesbian and artist in the 1977 documentary, Word Is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives. She completed her autobiography Elsa, I Come with My Songs, just before her death, and in it she gives a detailed account of seeking, finding and creating a life with other lesbians. Gidlow’s extensive personal papers are now archived at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco.

Queer Canada No 2 - Craig Russell

For the 150th anniversary of Canada's colonialism, I have created a series of collages celebrating some of Canada's queer icons. They will be exhibited in the window of The Button Factory in Waterloo, Ontario for their Views 150 exhibition on June 23, 2017. 

Here is the second one, honouring Craig Russell.
CRAIG RUSSELL

Craig Russell was a Canadian female impersonator and actor. Born in Toronto in 1948, Russell became president of Mae West’s fan club as a teenager, and briefly worked as her secretary in Los Angeles. Upon returning to Toronto he worked as a hairdresser while pursuing a career as a stage performer.

By the 1970s he had a burgeoning following as a performer in gay clubs throughout Canada, the US and Europe. While performing, he always spoke and sang in the voices of the celebrities he impersonated, including Carol Channing, Bette Davis, Mae West, Barbara Streisand, Tallulah Bankhead, Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland.

In 1977 Russell starred in the film Outrageous!, based on a short story written by his roommate, Margaret Gibson. A decade later, he starred in the movie’s sequel Too Outrageous! A play entitled Margaret and Craig, based on the writing of Russell and Gibson is currently in development by writer David Solomon.

Although Russell publically identified as gay, he married his close friend Lori Jenkins in 1982. He remained married to Lori until his death in 1990 of a stroke related to complications from AIDS.

Queer Canada No. 1 - Jackie Shane

For the 150th anniversary of Canada's colonialism, I have created a series of collages celebrating some of Canada's queer icons. They will be exhibited in the window of The Button Factory in Waterloo, Ontario for their Views 150 exhibition on June 23, 2017.

Here is the first one, honouring Jackie Shane.


JACKIE SHANE

Jackie Shane is an American-Canadian rhythm and blues singer, best known for the 1962 single “Any Other Way”. Although male-identified during her active music career, in 2017 Shane came out as a trans woman.

Born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1940, Shane developed deep roots in the drag traditions of the Southern US Chitlin’ Circuit. At the age of 20 she moved to Montreal, where she was discovered by Frank Motley and his Motley Crew after performing a Ray Charles song at the Esquire Showbar in a bright red dress. Thereafter she became the band’s lead vocalist, and they re-located to Toronto, performing regularly throughout the ‘60s at Toronto’s historic Sapphire Tavern.

Shane’s recording of “Any Other Way” was noted for its double meaning of the lyric “tell her that I’m happy/ tell her that I’m gay” and was the first instance of a song containing an allusion to homosexuality reaching the mainstream. It became a chart hit, reaching #2 on Toronto’s CHUM Chart in 1962. In 1965 Shane appeared on Nashville’s Night Train, performing “Walking the Dog” in a sequined blouse.

CBC aired the documentary “I Got Mine: The Story of Jackie Shane” in 2010. In 2015 and 2016, the Polaris Music Prize shortlisted Jackie Shane Live as a nominee for its Heritage Award to honour classic Canadian albums. A two-disc compilation, slated for release in 2017, marks the first time since 1969 that Shane has been directly involved in the reissue of her music.

A 2017 anthology on the history of Canadian LGBT culture is titled Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer. The inclusion of Shane’s hit song in the title and an essay devoted specifically to her, is indicative of the incalculable and previously untold contributions she made to queer culture in Canada and the US. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee - the place where she was born.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Eiyn Sof - Orchard





A music video I made for Orchard by the incredible Eiyn Sof, from her album Meadow Thrum, which you can get here!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sleeping With You

your eyelashes are still black and gold
even when I’m so scared i don’t know
what to do 

your chin and cheeks and nose are still so quiet 
when you sleep so deeply i get scared,
i get scared.

i check your chest to make sure 
and i feel like dying right now just to 
postpone my awakening

your hair points in the middle like a v
they call it a widows peak
and sometimes when you sleep i want to cut it off
because the idea of being your widow
makes me weep
makes me feel
too weak

inside it’s awakening.

(written for Andrea Hawkins (my now wife) in 2015). 

Subway Leigh

Portrait of Leigh Bowery, Watercolour, 2017.

Birthday Leigh

Portrait of Leigh Bowery, Watercolour, 2017.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

KW Zine Library Titles

Here are the current titles in the KW 'zine library! If you would like to submit a zine, or learn more about the library, please write to me! ellieanglin@gmail.com


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dream Visions : An Exhibition Of Collages by Ellie Anglin

At Jane Bond in Waterloo, from June 15th - july 20th


Frida Falls, digital print on wood, $100

More below...