Hosted by the incredible Sadie Sinner the Songbird, Positive East’s annual queer makers mart returns to help celebrate the historic legacy of queer art and HIV activism
22 July 2023 @ Positive East
What is Q-MART?
Q-MART 2023 will be bringing over 30 queer makers, artists, and contributors who will be taking over the Positive East building selling and showcasing their work and keeping 100% of their sales. A day to celebrate our beautiful queerness, art, community and activism.
– There’s more! –
Hosted by Sadie Sinner the Songbird, DJ Conor Lynch (Eagle/Horse Meat Disco and Twisted Pepper) on the decks, a cafe takeover by Kreme Kween (with 100% of cafe sales supporting Positive East’s work!), MAC makeovers and, importantly, HIV/STI testing.
Q-MART 2023 is all about celebrating our connection to the queer community and showcasing queer art in all its abundance, beauty and power.
Art and HIV activism have always been linked, with HIV activists relying on the artistic medium to spread awareness and reach new audiences with key messages. Organisations like Gran Fury and the AIDS Quilt show the invaluable addition of art within the history of HIV.
Q-MART 2023 draws on this history, bringing together artists and the HIV community together under one roof to celebrate, honour and raise awareness.
—- Key Info —-
- When: 22 July 2023
- Where: Positive East (159 Mile End Road, E1 4AQ)
- Times: 11:00 to 5pm
- Nearest Tube: Stepney Green Station
- Cost: Free!
- Hosted by Sadie Sinner the Songbird
- DJ Conor Lynch (Horse Meat Disco/Eagle/Twisted Pepper)
- AIDS Quilt display (panel #23)
- Kreme Kween kitchen takeover
- Free HIV/STI testing and sexual health info
- Book your HIV/STI test HERE
- Drinks/snacks available
—- Meet Q-MART’s host —-
Sadie Sinner is a creative force! Founder and curator of The Cocoa Butter Club, Sadie performs a seamless repertoire bursting with the RnB, Blues, Jazz, Motown, Funk and Neo-soul that raised her. Sadie brings entire rooms to their feet- her vocals and vibe, compelling them to dance the night away! We are so excited Sadie will be joining us, helping us to celebrate all which defines Q-MART!
Positive East pop up
To coincide with the 2023 Q-MART we are excited to relaunch our pop-up t-shirt project featuring contributions from local and international artists whose work is rooted in equality, social justice, and tackling HIV stigma. Artists include Wolfgang Tillmans, Linder, Sunil Gupta, Hatty Carmen, Fredde Lanka and Alex Mein. Building this visual archive of works reflecting the ethos of Positive East, are contributions from the 2023 Q-MART artists. The pop up project will only be active 1 July to 30 August 2023.
Meet the QMART 2023 artists, makers and contributors
Boe is a self-taught illustrator, tattoo artist and market organiser based in London. Their art style is contemporary and challenging with influences from nature, tattoo culture and alternative fashion. As a queer person, their identity is a central theme to their work and they strive for their creative practice to be a space where not themselves, but others too can feel seen, represented and included. Their work is quirky, humorous yet politically challenging with a primary focus on queerness, intersectionality, feminism, mental wellbeing and current political affairs. Boe’s aim is to normalise the discussions of social and political issues and make them accessible for all.
Hey, I’m phoebe calypso (they/them), a London based artist focusing mostly on printmaking techniques like linocuts and monotypes. I’m interested in exploring queer history and issues using hand drawn lettering and silly genderless figures. 🙂
Chaotic designer of queer vegan kink fashion, now based in Manchester. My gear is strong, elegantly constructed, and has what I’d call “utility-punk” vibes, with a hint of 90s Australian surf-shop. It makes for stunning eye-catching club / party wear, AND can handle being used in the bedroom (or wherever you like to play!). The collars and wrist-cuffs also make lovely day-to-day accessories if that’s your style!
I keep a range of sizes ready-made and in stock, but also offer custom sizing at no extra charge.
I design and make wheel thrown ceramics in a range of bold, graphic, hand painted designs. My best sellers include mugs, bowls and espresso cups, while incense holders, plant pots and brooches also make great gifts. Mainly focusing on functional pieces for the home, I strive to create pieces that are exciting to look at and bring a little joy to your day when you use them!
Trolley Vinyl is a queer-owned kink and fetishwear brand striving to make accessibly-priced bags, accessories, and harnesses out of PVC. It was founded in October 2021, and everything is made by hand in our studio in South East London.
Rowan Frewin (they/them) is a non-binary comic artist and illustrator. They work largely in risograph printing, using vibrant colours to explore themes of queer joy. Their work often draws on their interest in trans history, their love of museums, and on themes of mythology.
Lauren Hurrell (@laurenhurrellart) is a Peckham-based queer artist from Bristol who has lived in London for nearly ten years.
Her work tends to focus on depictions of queer desire and observational drawings of interior spaces. These were originally inspired by the pandemic restrictions, as we became stuck inside and regulations were put on our right to intimacy that wasn’t ‘legitimised’ by marriage or cohabiting. Lauren’s art aims to centre joy and intimate moments of desire. She digitises much of these to add a vibrancy of colour and an element of fantasy. The observational works use watercolour, pencil and acrylics to emphasise a more organic and naturalistic element with a fine line to give definition. The overarching aim in Lauren’s work is to eternalise these moments like snapshots.
Having begun selling work on Etsy in 2021, Lauren has now sold nearly 200 prints worldwide, including North America and Australia.
Queer people deserve representation that doesn’t revolve around rave culture, whiteness or depression and I’ve made it my mission to display that through art. Through drawing a diverse range of characters – especially those who don’t fit into conventional beauty standards – I hope to show that beauty exists in every form of humanity.
Softcore Hardware: Where hedonism meets comedy. Created by graphic designer Sofi Lee-Henson, this London-based jewellery brand embraces the art of laser-engraved jewellery. Each piece tells a story through tiny and detailed illustrations, capturing the essence of hilarity and pleasure. From sterling silver pendants to magic-steeped Milagros charms, their creations evoke an aesthetic that is both simple and bold. With a mission to celebrate self-expression and inspire unending pleasure, Softcore Hardware invites you to adorn yourself with their enchanting designs and embark on a journey of uninhibited joy.
Polari Press is an independent publishing house which helps hidden voices be heard.
Polari was a secret language from the early 1900s when homosexuality was still criminalised in the UK. Spoken almost exclusively by gay and bisexual men, the nature of clandestine meetings brought together people from all walks of life, who all had an influence on the language.
Cockney, Romany and Italian languages mixed with the colloquialisms of thespians, circus performers, wrestlers, sailors and wider criminal communities to create a slang to express their sexuality safely.
Inspired by these origins, we publish queer voices, alongside other marginalised groups, to share perspectives and build a collaborative platform for all of us.
Erin Aniker is an Illustrator whose bold and colourful people driven illustrations draw inspiration from her upbringing and love of her home city of London, her dual Turkish and British heritage, appreciation of Islamic art and patterns and the inclusive community she has grown up with in east London.
Alongside her personal work, she enjoys creating illustrations for use in editorials, books, advertising campaigns and more.
She also draws inspiration from a lot of 60s and 70’s art including the Feminist posters of See Red Women’s Workshop, Bridget Riley and the geometry of Islamic patterns and abstract artists such as Fahrelnissa Zeid.
You can see more of her work on Instagram and Twitter at @ErinAniker
Katie/keernas (she/her) is a multidisciplinary artist based in London. A designer by training, her practice spans between both design and the visual arts, working with body adornment, sculpture and performance. Exploring autonomy in relation to cultural identity and queer modes of living, through the interplay of material with the body. She seeks to unfold the internalised challenges of occupying distinct cultures and experiences. Using the key motifs in her work she has developed some wearable pins and keychains.
An east London based artist focused on life drawing and tufting inspired by artists like jean Cocteau, Gengoroh Tagame and Tom of Finland with a colourful aesthetic giving them a sexy yet cute vibe and the rugs strokeable tongue in cheek motifs 😉 he will be doing cute quick live portraits too so if you want to feel your titanic rose fantasy from the neck up come check him out
My art is very much inspired by wildlife and nature, and especially by the majestic fox that visits my garden in Hackney London.
I love watching the seasons change and have always enjoyed collecting what nature provides, pressing leaves and flowers, drying tree bark and seed pods which I use in my art. Coming from a background in Costume, Tailoring and Fashion, I often use fabrics, sewing techniques, sequins, beads, crystals and other textures and surface decoration.
My love of religious art and artefacts, ecclesiastical textile design and architecture is also visible in my work, alongside my fascination with graveyards, supernatural, folklore and the occult.
Over the past two years I have been exploring and creating traditional wheat weaving patterns and constructing corn husk dolls which I’ve always had a fascination with.
ManosQueer is a little shop of Queerness. We make handmade and custom pieces, from lino print art, to stickers, greeting cards, to needle felting and more. Our art is unapologetically queer and filled with love, rage and pride. Everything we do is originally designed by us, and inspired by, the power, beauty and diversity of queer bodies and identities.
My name is Rubella Vaxine, I’m a Slimming World survivor and Greggs enthusiast. My husband, Mr V has been busy, creating some fabulous crafty products including a Limited Lewk Eleganza range made from remnants of my costumes. We have also designed some colourful glass fusion jewellery which includes some recycled material. All products have been designed to be sold at queer events and are inspired by our passion for drag and the LGBTQ+ Community.
Asheley Doyle, an East London-based ceramicist, is the creative force behind Ash & Fire Ceramics. Her vibrant porcelain creations beautifully blend colour and form. She creates striking and functional ceramic pieces that bring artistry to everyday use.
Inspired by the early disco and house sounds of New York, San Francisco & Chicago, Conor has been DJing since the early 00’s, playing at most major venues and festivals in Ireland and all over Europe inc. Londons legendary Horse Meat Disco, Paloma in Berlin, Vice City in Antwerp, festivals Dimensions (Croatia), Snowbombing (Austria), Lost & Found (Malta) and many more.
He was also one of the main men behind The Twisted Pepper and The Bernard Shaw in Dublin, the Bodytonic label and has played alongside the likes of Daniel Wang, Horse Meat Disco, Francois K, Theo Parrish, Optimo, MCDE, Justin Strauss and Joy O.
Ben Saunders is a queer artist and tattoo artist based in Manchester, his work focuses on celebrating trans bodies and reclaiming trans sexuality. A large section of his work focuses on kink within the trans and queer community, in a way that aims to uplift and empower people through kink and sexuality.
Many of the references for Ben’s illustrations are provided by queer and trans people within the community, which he hopes also encourages trans people to feel represented and beautiful within his work.
You can find Ben’s prints on his Etsy shop BenSaundersArt, or through the
link in his Instagram bio @bensaunders.art, where he has over 70 different queer prints to choose from!
Robert C. Gray, B. 1989, L/W Crawley. I am a contemporary artist and MA graduate of UAL Chelsea college of art, specialising in drawing and mixed media. I have recently applied my practice to clothing design and launched my own fashion brand ‘RCGwears’, selling upcycled (or ‘artcycled’) vintage and preworn clothing. The brand supports sustainable fashion by injecting imagination, colour and humour to tired and bland relics of the past; transforming them into one of one pieces.
Kat Outten (They/Them) is a multi-disciplinary artist based in London. Their current practice focuses on ceramics, although they also make works using digital, print, collage and other materials. They explore various topics such as their lived experiences of fatphobia, queerness, mental health/disability, working-class issues and politics throughout their work, with materiality also being a key theme.
Born in 1966, in the current territory of Lithuania that was part of the former Soviet Union, I have been residing in London, UK for nearly two decades. For most of my life, I have been enthralled by various artworks, paintings and artists, particularly abstract art. I never studied art professionally. One day I simply picked up the brush and painted my first works. This hobby of mine led me to the New Artist Fair exhibition in 2022 and in Oxo Tower Fair 2023 where I got an opportunity to showcase some of my artworks to the public. I am still in the process of trying to discover myself and the style of my work as an artist. I do that by experimenting and combining colours and compositions. I enjoy nature, travelling and the sense of discovery, therefore inspiration to paint comes from everyday objects and situations that the world is filled with. I simply transfer those images and emotions retained in my memory onto canvas using acrylic paint, modelling paste, sand, mixing knife, brushes and other tools.
Ed Firth is the East London, UK artist and writer behind the Pound Shop zine cycle and the ongoing Horny & High anthology comic series exploring British chemsex subculture among gay men in 2010’s London. Vol 1 was shortlisted for the Myriad First Graphic Novel Competition, and described by queer comics legend Ralf König as telling “a truth only the bowels can understand”.
In 2022 his autobiographical comic The Lift placed second in the Observer/Faber & Faber Graphic Short Story competition, and in 2023 he was recognised by Broken Frontier as one of their Six To Watch emerging Small Press creators.
He is currently writing volume 3 of H&H and producing a hardback Best-Of collection of Pound Shop, as well as volunteering for Controlling Chemsex to help people resolve ambivalence around substance use.
Shaven Raven Designs is the moniker of East London-based illustrator and graphic designer, Ufuoma Urie. Her line of gift wrap and greeting cards celebrate black/queer identities, movie monsters, symbols of femme horror chic, sex and magik. She focuses on bold typographic works; illustrating words with long histories that relate to sex, kink and slang born in the queer community but now woven into popular culture. Newer works feature bold type, ankara design and ever-repeating patterns.
I am a queer artist based in London who makes 3D miniature art. My work is gloopy, messy, sexy and queer. My one-of-a-kind 3D miniature sculptures are a colourful and playful celebration of a queer feminist life featuring plenty of mini dildos, sticky tissues and Dewalt power tools in amongst the clutter. I love the stories you can find amongst clutter and I really play with this idea in my work, leaving clues and questions in with the gunk.
SlumpyCats by @So.Romer
@so.romer (they/them) creates queer & quirky wearable art. Inclusivity, body positivity and playful exploration are at the heart of their work.
SlumpyCats are hand crafted, lightweight and one of a kind.
Elevating erotic bakes beyond a pair of fondant breasts in a football shirt, Kween Kream is a London-based Queer bakery inspired by those who love to unapologetically be themselves. Kween Kream was founded in London in 2019, after working in some of the most established kitchens. The head Doughminatrix behind Kween Kream realised the scene was becoming dull and oversaturated by people making the same sweet treats. We decided to go left and reinvent a market for ourselves.
Since the concept was developed, we spent 2020 experimenting and building our brand. We launched Kween Kream officially in August 2021. We now have an at-home dark kitchen based in the heart of Walthamstow and can not wait to start serving the city that built us. We have become established within the queer community and now are the go-to bakery of drag artists, entertainers and fellow queers alike. It’s truly a dream come true, we look forward to what the future of Kween Kream brings and watch our business thrive beyond one femme band.
Ari Wisner is a queer illustrator, artist and graphic designer based in London. Ari has created two genderless and plastic-free tarot decks – Trinity Tarot (self published) and the Transient Light Tarot (Published by Hay House). Through art and tarot decks, Ari aims to create tangible tools to aid reflection, prompt intuition and promote authentic, peaceful living. Find Ari on Instagram @ari_wisner or ariwisner.com
Bio coming soon
Jaq Spooky is a trans woman with an interest in monstrosity and sexuality. The art she creates comes from her experience of possessing a body that is maligned and weaponised by a society that has a destructive agenda that seeks to control and prescribe people’s behaviours based on a fundamentalist idea of human nature. Her work explores this and attempts to find catharsis through imagery that she finds uncomfortable or painful.
She has been homeless, attacked by the police, attacked by men in the street and she has also been loved and cared for by many wonderful sapphics and lesbians over the course of her life. She hopes that the complexity of these experiences, both the bad and the good are communicated through what she’s created.
My name is Marleigh and I am a proudly black, queer and gender nonconforming kiddo. At marblehead we create hand illustrated and colourful goods. We celebrate queer culture and are a gender free zone! We encourage everyone to be their true and unique selves and embrace eco friendly practices.
From its inception in 2018, we always knew that we wanted to create a brand that celebrated art and design. Today in it’s 4th year Adorn The Common is home to a diverse family of painters, photographers, illustrators, sculptors, designers, makers and story tellers – all with a common goal, to share, create and educate.
With over 30 emerging and established artists many from Black, Queer, age and neuro diverse communities, we have grown into a creative, art & lifestyle brand built on a desire to exhibit beautiful works with a critical directive at their core.
Championing creatives from a diverse assembly of backgrounds and lived experiences, we continue to present shows and collections of work that challenge the status quo and provide a platform for all voices to be seen and heard.
Alex (he/him) is a queer and neurodiverse artist that uses creative photography to produce designs with a botanical theme. He uses a light box to bring out the fine details in plants and digitally paints in elements from multiple exposures to create compositions which blur the lines between photography and illustration. Through his art he explores issues which are important to him, such as: LGBTQ+ history and rights and awareness of chronic illnesses. Alex’s work is currently exhibited at the Liberation Art Gallery in Brighton.
Unfamiliar Spirits is an artist from Galicia (Spain) living in London. They often work with traditional techniques including lino printing, watercolour, gouache and acrylic.
Within their work queer identity, folklore and the esoteric interweave with personal experiences of chronic pain and mental health issues; creating atemporal visions and dream scapes.
Renato’s art embraces a bold and diverse range of media, from oil, acrylic, and gouache to cutting-edge digital prints. It’s a celebration of queerness and fluidity as genres and boxes crumble to make way for boundless artistic exploration.
Matt David is a London-based, Scottish queer artist. Matt’s work centres on exploring queerness within symbolism, sexuality and expression. It has been essential for Matt to create work that tackles themes they surround themselves with and challenge. This ranges from HIV stigma to objectification of queer bodies