I Fell For His Lallies



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Oil on linen canvas.

“This is a naive and quick wet on wet portrait. I wanted to capture a thought. A moment. A question to some one out of shot. The word lallies is a term used in Polari. Polari was in a sense a gay language, an ever-changing collection of gypsy, yiddish and circus slang mixed with Italian and English rhyming. 

A form of  slang used in Britain by some actors, circus and fairground showmen, professional wrestlers, merchant navy sailors, criminals, prostitutes, and the gay subculture. Homosexuality was illegal and to avoid arrest Polari helped disguise a conversation.

It’s quite amazing when you meet someone who can speak it still as it’s mainly died out. But in the 1960’s it was more common place.

LALLIES was legs. ‘ Look at the Lallies on her’ – meaning he has great legs.

This is a very expressive piece. Pretty abstract but still figurative. Yet like Polari itself with a sense of confusion. A sense of being hidden.

As days turn to nights. The ponds and woods become abstract. Figures become more movement than shape. Faceless. The result is quite raw, naive but it helps capture the lust and the sexuality of an evening meet up. 

The history of cruising in the U.K. is complex, sexual and secret on one hand and yet with a determined sense of community, of similarity and a place where anything goes”.

Read about Gavin’s practice and view all his work now.



Additional Information

Dimensions60 × 60 cm

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