Brighton-based artist Louise Dear has created a special painting for Brighton Pride 2016.

Entitled Love Bomb, the piece is a celebration of all that Pride stands for. Bold, vivid, and with a strong sense of expression and identity, Dear’s work reflects the annual LGBT+ event.

Defiance is also evident in the painting, with the steely gaze of the man hinting at a united, resilient front against homophobia and prejudice.

Dear – whose works are collected by Sir Elton John – told the Gay Times recently that although LGBT+ awareness and acceptance has increased significantly in her lifetime, it is vital to highlight places in the world where this isn’t the case.

“Being gay has gone from being a crime to something celebrated and even now cherished with a wedded union.

“This is fantastic and should be celebrated and paraded through the streets, but without forgetting this is not the same everywhere and much of the world still has a very long way to come.

“Compassion and love should be our weapons to continue the fight for the freedom of all, and if Love Bomb can help send a little of this message, with added glitter and bling, I shall be very happy.”

Having travelled around Europe, South East Asia, Africa and Australia for the sake of her art, Dear is in a better position than most to comment on the worldwide state of LGBT+ affairs. The artist broached new and unexpected career frontiers, too – for a spell she worked as an exhibition designer for Lego in Australia.

It is Brighton, however, where she feels a true sense of home. She now works as a professional artist based in the city, after graduating from the University of Chichester in 1997.

The short journey from her home in Kemptown to her studio in North Laine is a source of constant inspiration. “My daily commute fills me with awe. I’m proud to live in such a colourful and progressive place” she told the Argus.

“I lived in Brighton as a teenager and after travelling the country and the world I've returned to this beautiful city. Here anything goes, and is in fact welcomed with open arms.”

Naturally, Pride is a key weekend in the calendar for an artist who places such an emphasis on personal and collective liberation.

“I have always supported Pride as I have a core belief that being who you want to be is the greatest freedom of all. Brighton embraces this freedom and simply celebrates diversity. Beautiful Brighton is full of absolute fabulousness; I love it!”

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