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Northern Deviants / Bex Massey + Lou Bennet
March 24 @ 11:00 am - March 27 @ 5:00 pm
In 1858 doctors claimed increasing social authority as ‘experts’ with the birth of the
‘General Medical Council’. This expertise allowed and encouraged them to categorise
many swathes of humanity with impunity. One of these pathological classifications
grouped ‘homosexuals’ as ‘deviants’.
1. departing from usual or accepted standards, especially in social or sexual behaviour.
2. a deviant person or thing.
‘Northern Deviants’ is a duo show by Lou Bennett and Bex Massey. As the title would
attest-both artists are Northern and Queer, and this common experience runs deep in
their respective practices, situating them outside of something, and inside something
else, together. This common experience is something that both artists process in their
work, making paintings to make sense of a childhood of hidden experience and
difference. Both artists are steadfastly northern, Bennett coming from the North-West
and Massey from the North-East. Their practices are riddled with references to this
shared heritage, and both artists have found it important to position themselves as
northern artists within a London-centric art world.
The pandemic has engendered self-reflection in both artists and exaggerated certain
aspects of their practice. For Massey, the past two years have focussed her research
into LGBTQIA+ history and the ripple effects of Section 28 on herself and a generation
of Queer children in the UK. For Bennett, working through COVID has also meant a
deeper reflection on self, working through themes of childhood, landscape, and
loss. This is the artist’s first exhibition since coming out as non-binary and it
represents the beginning of a new creative threshold.
This exhibition has enabled Bennett and Massey to reflect on the changing perceptions
to place and person. Both artists have produced small bodies of work for ‘Northern
Deviants’ which reflect a latent positivity in reclaiming the title. The works in this
exhibition are a departure from previous ways of thinking, feeling, and making.
PV 6-9pm Thursday 24th March
Show continues by appointment 25th-27th March
Unit 3 Projects,
ASC Studios, Unit 3,