30 July 2020
Online Performance
Unshut Festival, Sheffield, UK
Image: Pierce Starre

(In)visible was a 12 hour durational work that explores what it means to be visible as a queer couple in a heteronormative world. The artists initiated the exploration in response to a series of instances in which they each noted feelings of uncomfortability whilst expressing affection towards one another in public spaces. According to a YouGov survey of 5,000 LGBTQ+ people across the UK, carried out by Stonewall,  58 percent of Gay males said they felt uncomfortable walking down the street holding their partner’s hand.

Since the COVID-19 lockdown, the artists have experienced a sense of sanctuary, within their home. Sheltered from heteronormativity, they have encountered a unique opportunity to experience what it may be like to live day-to-day without worrying about the sharing of their affection. As lockdown measures are loosened, both artists have an awareness that they will soon be required to leave their sanctuary and re-enter the heteronormative space.

The artists presented a live-streamed performance artwork from the most intimate space within their home; their bed. Through the performative action of a durational embrace, the artists share their affection and love for one another openly, allowing the heteronormative gaze (in); a defiant reclamation of space, which seeks to make their fight for emancipation visible.


The work was shared on Facebook Live and Youtube as part of the UnShut Festival in Sheffield.

All Images and Artwork © Pierce Starre 2024