Meet the queer creatives behind the stunning PROTEST! photoshoots

Photographer Jordan Hearns and stylist Adam Farrell share their inspiration and involvement in the incredible capsule collection.

A split screen featuring headshots of two different young men

As we come into the final sale of the incredible capsule collection collaboration between artist Brian Teeling and yours truly, two of the creatives behind the stunning PROTEST! photoshoots share their involvement.

Our first discussion with the creatives involved is with Jordan Hearns, who is behind the incredible photography you’ve seen featured across all our PROTEST! stories, as well as the GCN shop (plug plug).

Jordan is a socially engaged artist and DJ, living/working between Laois and Dublin. He shared, “My practice is concerned with the significance of spaces as vessels for individualism and expression, explored within the contexts of time, memory and ephemerality. My photographic works document transient street flowers, short-lived clubbing spaces and underground clubbing/queer communities.”

Jordan described how the repurposing of existing designs for the collection struck a chord. He elaborated, “I’m a collector and outright nerd, constantly digging and searching for rare books, records, clothes, buttons/badges, etc, so I’m always looking backwards to move forwards. I’m a firm believer in knowing, understanding and valuing your history, especially in a Queer context, so Brian’s ability to utilise these decades-old semiotics in a contemporary context is a feat unto itself.

“The incorporation of the infamous ‘Silence = Death’ graphic but as Gaeilge, the incredibly gas and iconic Tonie Walsh tee, and the Gay Switchboard tee are prime examples of this.”

For this project, the team were very much interested in working with as many queer people across all aspects of the PROTEST! process. For Jordan, it also mean getting away from the virtual world and making tentative steps towards real life encounters. Elaborating on this, he described, “It was great to finally work with, and meet, everyone involved. Obviously a lot of relationships and friendships are formed virtually now, and while both Adam and I were familiar/friendly with each subject, we hadn’t actually met everyone IRL.

“The shoot was as good a reason as any to finally meet up, hang out, and work collaboratively towards something worthwhile. It was really nice to put an IRL to the URL!”

Next up in our chats with the creatives involved is Adam Farrell who was in charge of the (admittedly epic) styling highlighted in Jordan’s beautiful PROTEST! photos. He explained his own background and vision for this project – “I recently completed my degree in fashion design in NCAD after four years, but over the last year I have been working as a freelance stylist on different projects, which has been nice as another creative outlet.”

“A lot of my work centres on my own experiences and those closest to me. In particular my second year collection was based on looking at images of myself as a child and how the clothing I wore and my surroundings influenced and impacted my own experience of discovering I was queer.”

Photo shoot for Protest Collection

Adam echoed Jordan’s points about striving to ensure queer people were represented across all aspects of the project; “Making sure the community was reflected in both the collection and the shoot was hugely important for everyone on the team. In terms of corporate Pride collections there is so much more to be done; I believe there should be more transparency in the creation of these Pride collections and campaigns, is there even any members of LGBTQ+ community involved in the creation?

“Because I know that, personally, none of my friends want to celebrate Pride by wearing an eggplant emoji shirt or simply a shirt that says “Pride” with no emotion behind it.”

You can check out some of Jordan and Adam’s handiwork here at the PROTEST! shop.

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

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