The amazing new Quirk Market launches this Sunday, December 19 from 12 to 5 pm in Dublin’s Street 66. GCN will be selling our fabulous PROTEST! merch alongside a host of exciting new queer creatives. Pradeep Mahadeshwar tells us more about how Quirk Market got started.
This Christmas, if you are looking to purchase gifts for your loved ones or yourself, the Quirk Market will be launching in Street 66.
The pandemic has hit Ireland hard, small business owners have been impacted severely and queer creators are facing many challenges. This is why it is necessary to have a market space to celebrate self-expression, share creative passion, and encourage queer artists and businesses owners.
Co-founder of Quirk, Luis Noguera Benitez, expresses the same tone, “We intend to create a safe space to bring queer artists and creators together from different disciplines and mediums from Ireland and abroad. We want to make an opportunity for queer artists to exchange ideas, showcase their talent to a wide range of audiences and sell their products. Under the blend of love, Quirk will be the opportunity for uplifting stable branding for many artists.”
Quirk is co-founded by husbands Luis Noguera Benitez and Ciaran Gildea. Luis is originally from Venezuela and living in Ireland since 2013. “My experience as an immigrant, queer man living in Dublin has been good so far. I’ve got a life I always want to live: freedom of love, making connections, and belonging.
“I met Ciaran, fell in love, and married in 2016, right after the Irish marriage referendum. Together we are a family – ‘United Together!’ is our motto. In 2018, we launched pshirts together- a vintage online shop offering unique unisex clothing items. We love vintage clothes, and we believe in recycling.
“This collaboration gave us an excellent opportunity to explore graphic design, photography, styling, marketing, and modelling.” Luis’s collaborative work for pshirts is exciting and has a solid reference to his vibrant culture and rich diversity of the amazon rainforest.
As a visual artist, theatre-maker and collaborator, Luis has been involved in many creative projects in Ireland. In 2013, he collaborated with Maholin Navarro, an experimental theatre company. Together they worked on many important social issues like women’s empowerment, workplace bullying, violence in mental healthcare, and toxic ‘masculinity’. They have produced four Spanish plays in Dublin so far.
Recently Luis was seen in the queer variety showcase film Shame/Less, where he represented the queer Latin-American community in Ireland. Through his performance, he talked about the stigmas queer Latin-American face and hoped for change.
Luis talks about the creative and community work he was involved in during the lockdown, “In 2020, I started directing a project called Him, His, Ours, it was a dance theatre show about the meaning of masculinity. We got a diverse cast and began working on it, but then the pandemic happened.
“Also, I got an opportunity to get involved with the Poz Vibe podcast. For the first time, I publicly shared that I have been living with HIV since 2013. It was an emotional but liberating experience that opened so many doors for me, and I’m honoured to be part of such a profound project.” With such exciting projects, Luis is continuously contributing to Dublin’s queer cultural landscape and the QUIRK Market is yet another one of his inspirational ideas to connect the community.
Quirk Market will open on Sunday the 19th of December from 12 pm to 5 pm at Street 66. Luis talks about the venue. “We love the vibrancy of Street 66 and are happy that Quirk will take place there.” He continued, “Quirk is a family-friendly event created by queer people, open for everyone.”
GCN, ACT UP Dublin, the MPOWER programme, and Poz Vibe podcast are taking part in the market to sell their interesting merch and showcase their latest work. “It is a great honour to have these organisations on board, and their work directly impacts the lifestyle of our community.”
You can visit their Instagram profile to see the listed businesses and artists. Help, save and support queer art and artists! Happy Christmas!
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