Queering Masculinity Exhibition & Final Performance

Brook Tate & Daniel DeWolfe

Brook & Daniel’s exhibition Queering Masculinity explored the male form through painting and drawing. Both Daniel and Brook grew up as Jehovah’s Witnesses and their work documents the changes in their life, art and beliefs.

Daniel’s work showed a timeline of self portraits, the earliest drawings in the exhibition were made while Daniel was still a Jehovah’s Witness. The distorted, biomorphic and primarily monochrome images were displayed in chronological order giving us a glimpse of Daniel’s journey, Daniel also presented digital time lapses of his drawings, giving an insight into his process.

Brook’s timeline starts with his beautiful photorealistic paintings, Brook is a self taught painter, their incredible photorealistic work was inspired by the paradise scenes he saw frequently in his youth. Growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness Brook was surrounded by this religious imagery which inspired Brook to hone this remarkable skill. 

Brooke’s paintings progressed into freeform male nudes intertwined in fantastical configurations, his last and most recent painting depicts a self portrait of Brook flanked by a giraffe and flamingo, half covered in body paint in his role as Debra the Zebra. 

After talking us through their work both Daniel & Brook performed, Brook took us to the plains of Africa where we met a distraught flamingo chick freaking out about their grey feathers, meanwhile Debra the Zebra learned that a zebra must be quiet and blend in, lest you may be eaten! We also met Bwian the Lion, who is teased by all the other lions because of his lisp.

Luckily over the course of their journey, our protagonists meet one another and are able to help one another find their own truths and are able to express themselves in all their unique & quirky glory. Brook’s unique style combines comedy and usually a bit of tap dancing as a vehicle for telling stories about the outsider and their path to embracing and finding strength in their difference.

Daniel put on an experimental performance showcasing his video work and integrating it with his newly established drag practice. For both artists, leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses meant losing family, friends and stability, the queer creative scene of Bristol has held them and given them space to process and grow within a supportive community and move into new ways of expressing themselves. 


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