As you will see on the following pages, the entries we received were of an exceptional standard, so much so it was a very difficult process deciding on just one beautiful piece of work to grace the cover.
So the first time ever (as you will have already seen by now) GCN has not one, but two, beautful cover images. Two very different artists will share the Pride cover and we’re delighted to have them! Here we feature further examples of their work as well as all the other amazing people who submitted entries. Congratulations to all the creators and thanks for making this one of our best Pride issues yet.
Why did you choose this particular image to send in?
I tried my best to keep in mind the Pride Month theme in Dublin - Rainbow Revolution - adding all the LGBT+ references and the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, but I didn’t want it to be too obvious, so theres a subtle reference to this in the tattoos. The idea of the tattoos is to celebrate Pride with symbols and characters from the LGBT+ community marked in our skins. Overall, I thought it would be a great image to celebrate Pride festival month whilst giving a nod to its history.
Could you tell us about its creation?
I wanted the final image to be meaningful to the people who came before us, the ones who went on the street and fought for our rights, and to show two very colourful contemporary men kissing and showing their love for each other. All the accessories and decorations are symbols of celebration and happiness. To come up with this image, I hand drew them on a paper and designed the tattoos separately, after scanning all the drawing material I digitally composed it all together and finished the final rendering on the computer.
What kind of work do you create usually?
I work mainly with illustrations and design, and love to combine both and make it enjoyable. I try to always work with independent music artists creating EP covers and art videos for their social media but I’m open for any art commissions (painting, tattoos, illustrations) for anyone who loves art and/or wants to give art as a present, I love working on portraits but also love fantasy art. Being able to create and illustrate something that comes from my imagination combined with someone else’s idea is a great feeling.
What does Pride mean to you?
Pride is a time for us to celebrate the diversity and strength of our community and the journey we have made so far. It is also an important reminder of our privilege in being able to do so publicly and of those who are still not afforded this luxury and freedom. Pride to me is happiness, enjoying the moment and having a positive attitude.
To see more of Gabriel’s work, visit Instagram @mr_gabrielmarques His website is
Gabriel can be emailed at
The image contrasts the violent, penetrative screw - designed to be applied in construction but here wielded like a weapon -with a petticoat - a feminine underskirt that is made to support a female garment from beneath, applied to an otherwise naked body that was assigned male at birth. The battle of the masculine and feminine in the queer individual is, whatever its form takes, universal - even beyond the queer. Furthermore, this dichotomy is set against a rural Irish landscape, creating another. I saw myself simultaneously infiltrating that Irish space from the outside, as well, paradoxically, as me having sprung from Ireland itself, which characterises the queer individual’s experience in the heteronormative culture that conceived them. For me, the image reflects Pride’s roots in reclaiming space, and the ferocity, the tenacity, and the love required to do so.
The image is a still taken from a performance piece entitled Faggot Thoughtdance. I was staying with my friend in Clonmel, Tipperary, last summer. One afternoon, I suddenly felt compelled to make a piece. I wrote, performed and recorded a monologue concerning the deepest aspects of my internalised homophobia, having been raised in a fundamentalist Evangelical household, in the wake of which, my nascent queerness was navigated through sexual assault and attempted conversion therapy.
I grabbed the giant screw, which was just lying around the garden, and my friend’s underskirt. I then played the monologue, edited to loop and becoming increasingly distorted, from a speaker. I directed my friend to livestream the performance from a phone to Instagram in a field out back.
I danced erratically, brandishing the screw, interpreting the words through my body, before eventually throwing the screw through the air and collapsing to the ground. The whole thing was composed and performed within 30 or 40 minutes. It was all very intuitive.
I deal in visual art, but chiefly in the performative. My work historically explores the developmental role of shame-based trauma in the relationships of the queer sick body, operating via stylised rituals in the form of performance-centred multimedia installations. These hinge upon the process of transubstantiation, the artist interacting with totemic media in space in ritualistic format, charged by the witness of the audience.
Much of my recent work is inspired by queer theorists such as Leo Bersani, Tim Dean and David M Halperin, and how self-destruction characterises part of the journey of the queer male. I’ve been actively practicing in the performance art scene in Dublin for years semi-regularly through bodies such as Livestock and Dublin Live Art Festival. I have just finished my second year pursuing a BA in Sculpture And Combined Media at Limerick School of Art and Design, where I have also started a live art collective with my friends called the Evil Collective.
Pride’s roots are in rebellion, the act of which is bound up intimately with conflict. Rebellion and conflict are not simply external, they are internal situations, in the community as well as the individual. We rebel against our own natures, we are conflicted, our minds and bodies ever trying to love in the face of self-hatred, never mind others’ hatred of us. This dynamic tension, to me, is what brings about creation. It’s the closest my AMAB body can get to giving birth. For me, Pride is pain, and channelling that pain into a creative act.
To see more of Day’s work, visit Instagram @day.magee@collectiveevil Day can be emailed at
Why did you create this particular image?
I designed this image specifically for the competition. I was inspired by the pink triangle motif and the way it’s been used, redefined and reused as part of the LGBT+ movement. I also wanted to capture the smaller, personal moments that were, and in some situations still are, acts of rebellion. These kinds of moments are what I associate with Pride.
Illustration has been a side project for me for a while but I’ve recently started to develop my style a bit more and produce more work. I mostly work in a combination of pencil, ink and digital. I like using strong colours, geometric patterns and intricate line-work.
For me Pride is a time to celebrate each other’s individuality and to show the support and pride we feel for our LGBT+ family.
To see more of Niall’s work, check out
I originally had a totally diff erent idea in mind, but then I read about the awful homophobic attack on those two women in London and I thought that my response should be more serious in tone. The awful details of Declan Flynn’s murder and subsequent aftermath was kind of our own Stonewall, and I thought that although we have come a long long way, what with the equality referendum etc, there is still the very real fear of homophobic attacks within the LGBT+ community and I thought the piece I came up with serves as a reminder that we still have a ways to go to ensure that what befell Declan never happens again.
This is actually a huge departure from the kind of work I usually do. I’ve a huge interest in geeky (some would say trashy), pop culture and Irish humour.
After the Marriage Equality referendum, I was guilty of thinking do we actually need Pride any more, but I’ve since copped myself on and thought we most certainly do. Our civil liberties were very hard won and, as recent events in America have shown us, tenuous. So I think it’s just as, if not more, important to celebrate the LGBT+ community, and be proud of who we are. Plus, it’s a really fun day out!
To see more of Fintan’s work, Check out shop.fi
I was working with Rebecca, my wonderful model and makeup artist, and just wanted to play with movement and colour. This particular image was a complete accident, but I just remember how fierce and strong Rebecca looked and how proud I was of it. Once I saw GCN was looking for entries, I thought this image slotted perfectly within the theme. The idea of the Pride colours not just being in a uniform flag but rather an explosion bursting forward with a fierce woman in focus becoming the start of a revolution was symbolic of so many strides we have taken recently with LGBT+ rights and gender equality.
I work with the incredibly talented Harry Weir in a commercial studio which predominately works with food, so putting in a rainbow cake as an entry had crossed my mind. We work on a variety of images from editorial to commercial but producing this image was extremely liberating as there was no constraints.
Pride means standing together as a community to celebrate how far we have come, but also to remind people how hard those before us worked to get us where we are. It’s easy for us in a country that has made great strides towards equality to become complacent and forget that not everyone is given that luxury, so it’s a reminder of the work left to do, not just at home, but globally.
To see more of Brian’s work, check out Instagram @Irl_bribri
For this artwork I wanted to explore the LGBT+ spectrum and celebrate queerness. As there is such a variety of sexual and gender diversity inside our community, I decided to create these drawings of people to show this diversity and embrace inclusiveness and acceptance. Through those characters the idea was also to show representation; people of colour, body positivity etc. I put them all together as if they were all celebrating Pride in a sense of union, joyfulness and, most importantly, being proud of who they are.
Pop art is a big influence for me, and when comes to creating my illustrations, that reflects in my work; fun, colours and creativity.
Most of my work is queer art and permeates among illustrations of men, sexpositive figure drawings, and penises that I merge in my artwork in the most different ways.
I remember when I went to my first Pride, the feeling of being surrounded by the community members was one of inclusion, acceptance and belonging, and that was so powerful for me that I’ll never forget.
Pride for me is not just a simple celebration, but is accepting who you truly are, and showing the world that you are proud of it, not being ashamed for what you stand for, and, most important, being strong to fight against the challenges the LGBT+ community face every day.
To see more of Caio’s work, check out Instagram @Caeiou Or email him at
Emmalene photographed a mural she created.
With the theme being Rainbow Revolution, honouring activism and social change, I feel we also need to recognise that there is still more to be done, particularly in regards to our counterparts in Northern Ireland who have still yet to be afforded the right to marry. The fact that a Pride piece of this size can be on a wall in Belfast City Centre says a lot to how far we have come, but we still have a lot further to go. We should celebrate all of the work we have done as a community and how far we have come, while continuing to do more until LGBT+ people all over the world are treated as equals.
I am primarily a street artist, my preferred canvas being large walls, and my preferred medium being spray paint. I do also paint smaller pieces for exhibitions. A lot of the work I paint would be around social issues or human rights issues. I paint about what I feel passionate about. I paint about what is going on in the world. But I do also paint fun, lighthearted pieces sometimes too!
I think most people in the LGBT+ community at some stage in their lives went through a time of feeling ashamed of who they are. So Pride for me is a celebration that I now stand with my head held high and can say I am really happy I am who I am. I am really happy I am part of the LGBT+ community and I am proud of all we have achieved.
To see more of Emmalene’s work, check out Instagram @emmaleneblake Her website is
We feel that this image represents our work well, it shows strength, connection and pride. We don’t often take photos of ourselves but we like this photo. We’re a team, in work and in life.
We create contemporary studio portraits as well as environmental portraits. We make our own hand painted backdrops. We’re really interested in capturing the true essence of a person.
Pride means being true to yourself and others and celebrating diversity.
To see more of Joanna and Chanelle’s work, check out Instagram @martafaye Facebook @martafayephotography Or visit their website
Keith provided a selection of photos.
Why did you create these particular images?
I feel they resonate on a personal and shared level. I particularly love the candids because they capture such intimate and personal moments. There’s also an element of humour in the chosen posed photographs. The elaborate costumes and joy of individuality enmeshed with a collective Pride displays a confidence in how much we have moved forward since Stonewall.
I usually photograph a range of subjects from architecture to people. People intrigue me as we are all so different yet so connected. I also enjoy humour, so juxtaposition features strongly in my work. I love to inspire an emotional reaction with my photography.
Admittedly Pride had reduced in importance to me in recent years. In essence I started to take it for granted. However I’ve come to re-embrace it again and the importance of celebrating same. It’s a time for celebration as the LGBT+ community garners more equal rights. Also a time to reflect. I remember those we have lost over the years. The message of Stonewall is of paramount importance just as much now as 50 years ago. These members of our community back then made massive sacrifices to get us where we are today. It’s also a time to think of others in various countries who are far from achieving the same rights and entitlements we now take for granted.
To see more of Keith’s work, check out Instagram @keith_b_photography Or visit his website
I chose the imagery based on the fact that Pride started as a riot and a protest. The fist symbolises the fact that the need for protest isn’t over and the placards at the bottom were to symbolise the years of marching.
I usually create digital illustrations.
To me, Pride means celebrating the full spectrum of humanity.
To see more of Elaine’s work, check out Her websites at
Charlie provided a selection of photos.
All images sent for this entry are part of my Rainbow Between Light And Darkness photobook.
I’m a Dublin based award-winning film director, photographer and former journalist.
Pride means freedom for LGBT+ communities and for those people who appreciate their daily struggle of being a little bit diff erent. It’s a pity that we still face this absurd war of acceptance. It will never end but those mighty legends who made a change possible are the most important weapons against haters. I’m a man, an artist and human rights activist and I am delighted to support the LGBT+ movement.
To see more of Charlie’s work, check out Facebook - CharlieThomsonMedia