The Manchester Drag Symposium

What a BRILLIANT day - held at manchester Central Library which is rather grand and funded by the Heritage Lottery, there's obviously an interest in drag as a subject for discussion and I felt honoured to be invited to present my work amongst performers, academics and historians. 

Some hi-lites for me included the British Library who presented some archival material specific to Manchester such as newspaper articles reporting men being arrested for that 'age old sin' of wearing 'women's clothing' and a fascinating radio programme titled 'The Night People' from 1966 where Barbara McDonald explored the streets of Manchester after midnight and spoke to those 'other' people such as Homosexuals!! Jacob Bloomfield's paper 'Soldiers in skirts: Cross-Dressing Veterans in the 20th century English Stage' was an interesting romp through a very British social history!! And it was really interesting to hear about other people's projects such as Timberlina and Lisa Lee's Mothers Ruin and Mark Edward's Council House Movie Star! It was all GREAT!

Here's a few slides from my presentation...

YES - Drag artists and photographers make great friends!! But when there's so many wonderful pictures out there and the queens are so good at documenting themselves - what can you do to be original and interesting?! Why add to the millions of pictures now out there? The world is full of photographers and drag artists... ! I guess my work is as much about the individuals as it is about drag and thats a start - getting closer to them and taking part in their lives... finding out why and how... it's a life long project... 

YES - Drag artists and photographers make great friends!! But when there's so many wonderful pictures out there and the queens are so good at documenting themselves - what can you do to be original and interesting?! Why add to the millions of pictures now out there? The world is full of photographers and drag artists... !

I guess my work is as much about the individuals as it is about drag and thats a start - getting closer to them and taking part in their lives... finding out why and how... it's a life long project... 

Of course I spoke about David and our work together - I LOVE this quote from an interview we did and him saying things like that to me gave me the confidence to pursue documenting him more intimately without worrying that I was being a nuisance...! 

Of course I spoke about David and our work together - I LOVE this quote from an interview we did and him saying things like that to me gave me the confidence to pursue documenting him more intimately without worrying that I was being a nuisance...! 

Haha this is where it all began for me - with the wonderful Kenny Everett - I remember coming home from school and putting on my shiny blue sports shorts (the closest I had to french knickers) and swinging my legs around "in the best possible taste"!! I've always been drawn to men in dresses!! 

Haha this is where it all began for me - with the wonderful Kenny Everett - I remember coming home from school and putting on my shiny blue sports shorts (the closest I had to french knickers) and swinging my legs around "in the best possible taste"!! I've always been drawn to men in dresses!! 

I showed work from my project TRANSFORMATIONS which is about the process of drag and the connections the performers have with their drag selves... 

I showed work from my project TRANSFORMATIONS which is about the process of drag and the connections the performers have with their drag selves... 

I talked about some recent ideas based around drag, the body and the work that goes into it...

I talked about some recent ideas based around drag, the body and the work that goes into it...

and the marks and scars it leaves behind...

and the marks and scars it leaves behind...

I also showed this response to drag post Rupaul from Scottee over a year ago as I think it was very clever... He's "divorced" drag now as he doesn't feel he needs it to say the things he wants to say and he realised he just likes wearing 'women's' clothes so he does that on the day to day now... 

I also showed this response to drag post Rupaul from Scottee over a year ago as I think it was very clever... He's "divorced" drag now as he doesn't feel he needs it to say the things he wants to say and he realised he just likes wearing 'women's' clothes so he does that on the day to day now... 

I'm pursuing a number of ideas around drag and the performers I'm interested in at the moment and have lots more research to pursue. I hope to have my David Hoyle photo book out later this year and will be revealing more about 'The Drag Files'... 

The symposium provided a wealth of inspiration and was as much a day of research for me as it was an opportunity to share my work - I am extremely grateful to Jez Dolan for inviting me to take part and to all the kind people who gave me such positive feedback! Gotta keep going!!