Arthouse returns with historic LGBTQ+ memorabilia to raise funds for Outhouse

Arthouse is back and this year the collection features iconic memorabilia from Alternative Miss Ireland.

Triptych of head shots from a contact sheet donated to Arthouse 2021. The images show drag queen Panti Bliss wearing a white and green dress making exaggerated poses.
Image: Conor Horgan

The now annual art auction Arthouse returns for its second year to raise funds for Ireland’s only full-time LGBTQ+ community centre, Outhouse.

The auction was established in 2020 as a way for the centre to raise much-needed funds following its shutdown due to Covid restrictions. 

Painting of a woman looking down surrounded by a background of abstract flowers.

The initiative also gave the centre an opportunity to support LGBTQ+ artists by allowing them to claim 50% of the hammer price for their donated works. This proved to be a vital outlet for many artists who had suffered as a result of the closure of galleries.

This year’s auction will feature works by over 160 artists including Niall Sweeney, Lola Donoghue, Brian Teeling, Eva O’Donovan, Martin McCann, Niamh Flanagan, Blaise Smith, Conor Horgan and Emma Blake, to name but a few.

Mid of a man's torso standing in front of a window with grey curtains. He is naked except for white briefs. The waste band reads Calvin Klein.

Among the donations to this year’s Arthouse are some rare LGBTQ+ related works. Conor Horgan, photographer and director of The Queen of Ireland, has donated a large-scale blow-up of a film contact sheet of Panti Bliss. The photos were taken for the 1997 Alternative Miss Ireland poster. 

The auction also features two rare poster prints designed by Niall Sweeney for Alternative Miss Ireland in 2005 and 2012. Niall’s designs for the annual pageant have become iconic pieces of memorabilia and are a must-have for any distaining queer.

Poster for Alternative Miss Ireland XI, 2005.

In showing her support for the auction, Panti said, “Outhouse is a community centre in the very truest sense. It is of, by, and for, the community. And a place where countless LGBT+ people first found community. So I’m always delighted to be able to lend my support in any way I can to fundraising efforts, and the auction is a fantastic idea because you can support Outhouse to continue its great work while also getting a fabulous artwork by one of the many and varied artists who are contributing pieces.” 

Never a shy lady, she went on, “Though my totally unbiased advice is to buy one of the TWO portraits of me by Conor Horgan and Niall Sweeney that are tucked in among the lots. They’ll be very valuable after I’m dead!”

Abstract painting in greys and lime green with a pink patch in the centre and red streaks.

Arthouse 2021 will feature over 200 works ranging from paintings, print, textiles, photography and sculpture from genres such as street, abstract and figurative art.  The auction will also give collectors a chance to own unique pieces to suit any budget and taste.

Last year saw the auction raise an incredible €54,000, allowing Outhouse to reopen its doors after over 20 months of closure. We wish them every success again this year.

Bidding is now open and will close on November 20 and 21. To find out more and register, click here

Montage of different artwork with Panti Bliss super imposed in front wearing a colourful caftan and holding an oversized gavel. The text reads Arthouse 2021: Annual fundraising action for Outhouse.

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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