International Journal of Art & Design Education

Out There? Looking for Lesbians in British Art — Some Preliminary Observations

Volume 26.1   2007



The article seeks to explore some of the difficulties that may be experienced within higher art education both by the student of art who is lesbian and by researchers focusing on the subject of lesbians and art. For those interested in this area of study there may be particular obstacles which are not present for heterosexual students and which act as a barrier to exclude more readily available information and images. The potential importance and relevance of these exclusions for the lesbian student of art are examined in relation to the political and social oppression which lesbians have experienced, the effects of which can be seen in both historical and contemporary lesbian images and artwork. The article also examines possible issues around 'coming-out' and homophobia for lesbian students and researchers within education generally, the prevalence of assumptions of heterosexuality, and the importance of awareness of these issues for educators of gay students. The conclusion drawn is that there is diversity inherent within any grouping but a more inclusive art education policy would inform the culture of all.