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Eleanor Louise West

Now the Inner Refuge (2020)

Now the Inner Refuge (2020)

This is a graphic illustration based on the publication Protect and Survive. The original pages instruct the head of the family to create fallout shelters out of household items within their homes to protect them from a nuclear attack. The artist inserts themselves and their partner and alters the original text in a blackout poem, provoking a queer viewer to think about their own shelters and support networks. West aims to turn useless guidance from the 1980's British Government into the methodology to cope with a queerphobic society. The work, removed from the original source material, rethinks queer homes and families in to shelters from this society.

About the Artist

Eleanor Louise West (she/they) is a queer, disabled artist who uses an interdisciplinary practice to explore queer experience and belonging. Their work spans many themes such as coming out, queer domesticity, fear and anxiety and chosen families. Much of West's work is inspired by Civil Defence materials such as Protect and Survive and other Cold War era publications; using craft they queer these useless guides on how to survive a nuclear attack and transform them into ways to talk about isolation as a young queer person.

Juxtaposed with the dystopian connotations from nuclear war, the artist is interested in utopias and the otherness of queer existence. How do we create safe spaces within our community and for ourselves in the fallout of coming out and the corrosive environment of a queerphobic society?

Born in Portsmouth, Eleanor Louise West now lives in London after graduating from Camberwell College of Arts in 2019.

You can discover more of their work through Instagram.



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