Joe Cotgrave United Kingdom
Joseph Cotgrave’s practice explores personal narratives, as a young gay man living with HIV. He engages with audiences to create meaningful conversation surrounding issues relating to the virus. His practice aims to highlight and subsequently reduce the stigma that exists for people living with HIV, particularly amongst at-risk groups.
The aesthetic establishes universal motifs drawn from queer culture and history, producing a lexicon that subverts audience’s expectations, challenging societal norms in the process. Personally, the work provides Joe with a space in which to comprehend his experience of HIV diagnosis, stigma and trauma, and to reconcile those issues visually, in collaboration with audiences. As audiences navigate site-specific installations they are confronted with a juxtaposing commentary of HIV, traditional narratives compete with contemporary experiences. And, as they do so they are provided greater understanding of HIV. This understanding transforms how audiences engage, not only with the work, but also with the artist. Joe has exhibited as a solo artist and in group shows throughout the UK & Europe, including, Migration; The Art House, Wakefield, (2017) [group], IN THE PINK; Serf, Leeds (2017) [duo], BTM; The Trophy Room, Liverpool (2016) [solo], The Royal Standard; Nantes, France (2016) [group] and The Rag Factory London (2014) [group].