Art exhibition celebrating gay role models opens in Melbourne

Ross Watson’s exhibition features gay British soldier Lance Corporal James Wharton

Art exhibition celebrating gay role models opens in Melbourne
21 January 2012

An exhibition of paintings by Australian artist Ross Watson featuring Lance Corporal James Wharton, a role model for gay people in the British army, opened in Melbourne yesterday.

Wharton, who held his civil partnership in the Household Cavalry barracks in 2010 and is a spokesman for Stonewall, is in Melbourne to open the exhibition at a reception today. He told Gay Star News he was 'very flattered' when he heard Watson wanted to paint him and that when he saw the finished painting, which also features two Australian soldiers he 'really liked it immediately'.

'It's a bit different,' Wharton said. 'The thing about all of Ross's works is that they are just that, very different. You can look at them, I found anyway, and just see so many different things going on. His works are all of very good looking men, not to say that I'm one of those people. For this particular exhibition he's done a good cross-section of society.'

The exhibition, entitled Cycles&Sequences, also features gay porn stars Lukas Ridgeston, Dolph Lambert and Kris Evans.

Watson said that Wharton 'was great to work with'. He said: 'As a professional soldier he's learnt how to be relaxed in stressful situations, and wearing his impressive uniform was helpful as it is like a second skin to him.'

Sir Elton John, a long-term fan of Watson's work, bought one of Watson's limited edition photographs of Wharton. 'Elton loves it,' said Watson. 'And is, like myself, keen to celebrate and promote positive gay role models. James was over the moon when he learnt Elton had bought my portrait of him.'

The exhibition at the Ross Watson Gallery is part of Melbourne's Midsumma Festival (15 January to 5 February) that celebrates LGBTQ life. 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Australian opposition leader upset about 'gays on boats' poster

Tony Abbott criticizes posters at the Health Minister’s electorate office that show him as homophobic, racist and sexist
No thumbnail available

Gay sitcom is internet sensation in Vietnam

First episode of My Gay Best Friends has over 165,000 hits on YouTube
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Brian Boitano says he 'had to go past my comfort zone' to come out publicly

Figure skater part of US delegation to Olympics in Russia 25 years after winning gold medal
No thumbnail available

Hunky gay surfer searches for love in Marry Me video that closed Syndey Mardi Gras

To soundtrack of Macklemore's Same Love, he finds true love after series of meaningless  encounters with other hot men
Ricky Martin slams Miss Peru's anti-gay rant

Ricky Martin slams Miss Peru's anti-gay rant

Ricky Martin wasn't impressed with the recent homophobic statements by Cindy Mejia, labelling her foolish and ignorant on twitter
No thumbnail available

Comeback for Korean transgender popstar Harisu

South Korean transgender singer Harisu is back with new single after six years
No thumbnail available

Another Soho gay bar fights redevelopment

Planning permission is being sought by the company that own the building that houses The Yard to build a roof over the venue's historic courtyard
No thumbnail available

GSN hosts $1trillion market cap at first business breakfast

Gay Star News first business breakfast has seen companies worth a total of $1trillion coming together to learn the future of the LGBT market.
No thumbnail available

HomoLAB 74

Amy gets abuse from an AirCon repairman, and the team discuss the words Fag vs Queer.