Arjun Lal’s garden of earthly delights is the sort of place that’s haunted your best daydreams, lighting up your brain’s pleasure centre and leaving a trailing perfume of pomegranate in its wake. But this Friday, August 20, from 6-9pm you can stop dreaming: Lal is bringing this paradise to roaring life as an art show and barbecue—called Queer Gardens: pleasures in 4 bases—in a field next to the Halifax Citadel's Garrison Grounds (head to the corner of Bell Road and Ahern Avenue, across the road from the Bengal Lancers).
“Pride is overrun by symbols that appear void of sexuality—rainbows, unicorns, etcetera,” Lal says in an email to The Coast. They "want to remind attendees that Pride is about our queer liberation and rights for sexuality and gender expression. This art show is about presenting content that is visibly queer without the added layers of symbols and colours to disguise it.”
Viewers are welcomed to walk through the open-air exhibit, viewing work by four of the city’s brightest up-and-coming artists—namely, Lal, Excel Garay, Kayza DeGraff-Ford, and Wren Tian-Morris. A free barbecue caps off the fun, and the four artists will be taking Coast readers behind-the-scenes all afternoon and evening as they take over The Coast’s Instagram (so be sure to follow along @thecoasthalifax). “This is a space for the enjoyment of the Queer Community at large,” adds Lal. “Bring a blanket, some sunscreen (SPF 666), and your best summer look!”