Queer art and pop culture has a new home in the shape of Dreaming Magazine. Editor Candy Warhol tells us what they’ve dreamed up with a global community.
Who is behind Dreaming?
Dreaming is the concoction of myself, drag artist Candy Warhol and a beautiful team of queer Irish artists scattered around the world. From California to Cork, it’s been a wonderful way to connect and create with each other and, now, the doors are open for that connection to keep growing. Come on in, the door’s open and the kettle’s on.
Where did the idea come from?
The idea began brewing ten years ago while myself and our creative director Paul Rice were studying art in Limerick. We would spend the little money we had on alternative fashion magazines like Pop, Dazed and Wonderland – they felt like a breath of fresh air in contrast to the mainstream magazines we had all grown up with, and suddenly a world of possibility and ideas opened up.
We always wondered why we didn’t have our own version here in Ireland and over the years we realised the lack of platforms that Irish artists had to submit their work to, especially queer Irish artists. This year, the idea finally came to fruition, naturally, while reconnecting with friends during quarantine. We realised that, a decade later, we had gained the necessary skills to get our dream project off the ground.
What do you hope to achieve and who do you hope to embrace with it?
The goal is to provide Ireland with a queer arts and culture magazine that can not only showcase homegrown talent but international talent while producing the same high level of content as the magazines that inspired us. We really hope that that our fellow queer community, artists and art lovers embrace it. It feels unique to the market and we would love to see it grow and become a strong name in the arts world.
Are you envisioning real life extensions of it?
Yes, Dreaming will be available as a seasonal digital and limited edition print magazine from late June. Each issue will be over two hundred pages with no advertisements and endless treasures for readers to get lost in. While the website is full of daily updates with interviews, opinion pieces, reviews and pop culture news, the magazine is designed as a timeless art book that we hope excites our readers to collect each season. It’s full of editorials, interviews, nostalgic features and original art. The goal is to eventually end up in queer bookstores worldwide and continue to grow from there.
Can you give us some insights into who has contributed to the debut issue and what topics are under consideration?
Nostalgia is a major running theme here at Dreaming. For every ‘current’ star, there is a gay gasp moment of ‘oh no way I love them’ and features on old queer book, music and movie releases. This will really develop as the issues go on. Our premier issue is just that – a premier theme that aims to capture the aesthetics and moods of queer performers backstage. Our first cover star is RuPaul’s Drag Race All Star BenDeLaCreme shot by the world renowned photographer Magnus Hastings. We have exclusive chats with Peaches, Icona Pop, Heather Matarazzo, Nomi Ruiz and Jessamyn as well as Irish camp icons like Linda Martin (Swoon!). While there is such a wonderful sense of camp throughout, LGBTQIA visibility and what we need to achieve next is a running topic with all of our guests. Drag Race star AJA will be discussing the iconic documentary The Queen while artists Dom Ink and Marco Ovanda will be discussing and giving sneak peaks of their upcoming art books in lengthy spreads. In every issue we will be revisiting a time a queer icon came to Ireland and we are launching with Kylie Minogue in Cork City in ’94. For every interview and feature, there are dozens of editorials and we sent the majority of our stars a disposable camera to work with this month – we can’t wait to see what they come up with!
Dare we ask, since it is advertisement free, how are you hoping to make it wipe its face?
Originally, Dreaming was planned as a digital only event but, as the line-up grew, we just had to get it to print. A week before our first cover is announced, pre orders will open and stay open for three weeks. If you ordered a copy then lucky you! If not, better luck next time! It will always be available as a digital download, but the issues are designed to hold and keep in your collection. Hopefully, as our name grows, independent bookstores will stock it and we can order more in bulk. We love the idea of someone stumbling upon it in a little bookstore and getting inspired.
Given it’s Pride month, what do you feel are the issues that still need to be addressed for our LGBTQIA community here?
I can’t help but smile when I think about how far we have come in just the last ten years, but we cannot take that for granted. We have to stay vigilant because as we have seen far too many times around the world recently, we can go backwards. We have a long way to go in terms of trans healthcare and I would like to see more visibility and diversity in both Irish media and workplaces. It’s one thing to hang a pride flag outside your shop in June, but support means a lot more.
Who would be your dream contributor to Dreaming?
An Irish queer icon – it has to be Róisín Murphy. We love that woman with all our hearts and it would be an honour to have her grace our cover. From September we will have three covers per issue. A very camp ’90’s icon just shot one of them. The goal is to turn your favourite Irish names into haute couture queens in each issue. Nadine Coyle, Anne Doyle and Twink in gowns and wigs? Sign us up!
What are you dreaming of doing once all this pandemic shit is behind us?
I cannot wait to be back on stage and although I’ve never stage dived – get ready to catch me because I’m going in! Magazine-wise we hope to continue building the brand and to have a launch party when we can – if even just for the booze and debauchery. Oh, and those disposable cameras I mentioned? There may be plans for an exhibit, all going well!
Issue One, €20 (print), €5 (digital)
words: Michael McDermott