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Conversation: An Ode To D'Eon
Join us for a date this Valentine's Day and meet like-minded new people to celebrate everyone who has the confidence to be themselves. Hosted by Gallery curator Clare Barlow, self-defining Queer artist Tim Redfern and poet Cherry Smyth, engage in good conversation, reflection and creative writing and discover inspirational role models in the Gallery such as Chevalier D'Eon, a French soldier, diplomat and transvestite.
Clare Barlow and Tim Redfern will discuss the life and achievements of Chevalier D’Eon, who lived in Britain from 1762 as a man, and from 1785 as a woman. Renowned for his public fencing demonstrations, he fought wearing a black dress and his Croix de Saint Louis, awarded only to men. A supporter for the new French Revolutionary government, he wrote to them offering to lead an army of women against France's enemies. D'Eon had the confidence to be true to himself at a time when this was at best very difficult.
Taking inspiration from the story of D'Eon's life, poet Cherry Smyth will help you write an ode dedicated to D’Eon, a significant other or to yourself.
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Venue: National Portrait Gallery
→ Charing Cross 6 min walk
→ Charing Cross 3 min walk
→ Leicester Square 3 min walk