()fall the eolourfulereations eoming to lidinhurgh this summer none w ill he more gaudy or hi/arre than \‘y'orking(iirls. l.ouise stitttmay‘s the exhihition that hrings the hraw'ny girls north. e\hihitionoflifesi/e modelsof ‘ ' ‘ london transyestites ( l lillside (iallery 35 July). :\ feather in the plumage of these rather oddhall peaeoeks is that their display does hay e a serious point to make. ‘l‘hough drag queens are notoriously un—right on.‘ l.ouise admits ‘these models are making a statement hy show mg men as deeoratiy e ohieets whieh is the way that women are all too often looked at‘, (Vertainly it‘s a way that men are yery rarely
liast lind Drag ()ueens deseending on lidinhurgh is not a suhieet to he skirted around. Ross l’arsons examines
garishly eoloured religous statues that proliferate in the l-"ar liast, Working from an initial elay seulpture l.ouise painstakingly produees a final full seale fihreglass representation whieh she then eoats in oil paint. ‘( )nee the models hay e heen painted the ‘girls‘ will tart them tip themselyes‘. l.ouise explains. ‘they tell me to take a seat whilst they ‘fuss oyer them. applying false eyelashes and earrings‘. .-\s well as the models and a relief painting of the drag seene attheVauxhall l
l'ayern. the exhihition also eontains a glass eoffee tahle w'hieh is a eomplete reyersal ofthe famous Allen .lones‘highly sexist ereation' of 30 years ago whieh had a woman on all fours supporting the tahletop. Louise‘s tahle top poses l’enny. the museular prostitute. pushing up the tahle from helow emphasising strength rather than suhseryienee and her rather hairy ehest. lindouhtedlyone ofthe highlights
ofthe exhibition will he the appearenee of the drag queens in the flesh at the Festiyal ()pening l’arty an event the Bl“ ‘ are to film and a prospeet whieh makes l.ouise rather neryous. At a preyious exhihition opening at the Heritage (‘entre in London. l.ily Savage raised a few eyehrows hy turning up in lull regalia and anouneing in a hooming male voice ‘lleritage (‘entrel’ Who would want to inherit this'.". The l’estiyal Party has an added pitfall "l‘hey'ye never met hefore and it eould well he a eomplete disaster. if they don‘t get on’. With so many flamhuoyant female figures in a eonfined spaee they may well he fighting tooth and false fingernail for eentre stage Sueh a eolleetion of(literally) eross dressers getting shirty.orrathei hlousy. with eaeh other at the Festival Party would indeed he a speetaele to put the newly founded Hillside (iallery firmly on the map. l'l'ur/x'mgs‘ (fir/s is (m alt/1e Ht/lmle Gallery. 6 Hillside Street (off [um/(m Road) from 25 Ju/_\>-l‘) ml ueust.
pereeiy etl. tlttless ofeourse they happen to he wearing fish net stoekings and maseara.
‘ l he initial inspiration for it all eame from the life around the studios in \‘y'hiteehapel where l was working she explains. \fore speeifieally it eame from a prostitute ealled l’enny w ho worked round the eorner from the studios. l loweyer what l.ouise. along with many of Penny ~s elients. failed to realise was that the 'good time girl. was. in reality. a somewhat hurly e\~farm hoy and still fully maseuline heneath the lroeks. due to the nature of the sexual fayours l’enny dispensed. none of her eustomers. many of them prominent eity husinessmen. had any eause to heliey e she was anythingother than fully female. It was through l.ottise\ friendship with the yiyaeious l’enny. that the artist gained an introduetion to the flamhuoyant and garish world of l.ondon's drag queens.
.-\ll the suhieets for her models are entertainers that she eneountered in loeal hars and nighteluhs; Dead \larilyn. Donna ls'ehah (not surprisingly of (ireek origin). l.ily Sayage. the rather demureley titled ('hris and of eourse l’enny. w ho eould also he elassed as an entertainer alheit one that employs a good deal of audienee partieipation. In other liyes they worked as eiyil sery ants. har men or hriekies. indeed one of the drag queens is happily married with two kids and t‘ef'tises to perform on 'l'V in ease the ehildren reeognise her as their father. 'l o l.ouise. looking for inspiration after returning from 3 years studying art and working in India. their hrash deeour and highly theatrieal manner seemed to proyide an exeellent ehanee to eontinue the kind of modelling teehnidue she had heen deyoting to lndian daneers on the
CLASSIFIED 65 . i suh eontinent, 'l‘here is also astrong ? l i resemhlanee hetween her effigies of l
Iiast lind drag queettsandthe ' l J
BOOKS 58 i FOOD 63 TRAVEL 64
'l‘heI.ist 14 37m; WW5?