in Frieze London | 14 SEP 23

Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, ‘Something for the Boys’

The vibrant and conflicted world of Blackpool: from nostalgic affection for the British seaside to the harrowing toll of the AIDS years on its gay scene

in Frieze London | 14 SEP 23

Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings

Something for the Boys

2018, 16 min 34 sec

WARNING: Contains flashing images

In Something for the Boys (2018), artists Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings capture a vivid portrait of Blackpool, a historic seaside resort grappling with the strains of austerity and shifting identities. The film delves deep into the vibrant yet juxtaposed worlds of Blackpool: the antiquated nostalgia of a Victorian holiday resort and its exuberant gay scene, which embodies both the golden era of musical theatre and echoes of the harrowing AIDS years. As the town grapples with a resurgence in traditional post-war values, the gay community emerges as a vibrant canvas, reflecting the town’s tensions and political conflicts manifested post-Brexit. Through a series of compelling vignettes, including performances from the legendary Betty Legs Diamond and dancer Ted Rogers, the artists offer an intense exploration of gender, class, and race dynamics within the setting of Blackpool’s most opulent venues, delineating a community striving to reconcile its rich past with a complex, modern identity. 

About Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings

Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings (b. 1991, Newcastle, London) are a London-based artist duo known for their exploration of queer identity, urban spaces, and social politics. Their practice is multi-disciplinary, encompassing fresco painting, drawing, video, performance, printmaking, publishing and installation. Grounded in researching how various communities have been represented throughout history, they interpret social and political issues by drawing from art history and archives. Their work invites viewers to question their relationships with space, power dynamics, social hierarchy, class, order, and obedience within our public spaces.


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Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, Something for the Boys, 2018, 16 min 34 sec. Courtesy of the artists and Arcadia Missa, London