When Jude Gardner-Rolfe started making posters for club nights and parties, he first remembered the lasting impact that the dancefloor has had on his self-confidence as a queer person. Often capturing flashes of euphoria, with a glowing neon palette as evocative as strobe lights, he creates with queer liberation in mind. “It’s reminiscent of how I want my work to be experienced and digested; the power of the club posters is not to be diminished or minimised, rather to be seen as an important tool to mobilise people to build communities,” he tells us.
Living and working in Berlin, Jude’s work spans graphic design, photography, visual effects, tattooing and performance, a practice that he credits as being “all made possible by the everchanging transient Berlin scene, keeping my mind preoccupied and satisfied”. Along with finding inspiration in his surroundings, he is also big on accessibility, never wanting his creations to be taken “too seriously” and being constantly drawn back in by its potential to platform joy and communities that people hold dear. So, whether it’s the kitsch and camp in his posters, or the absurd and uncanny present in his character photography, Jude is ultimately on a mission to bridge the gap between his life and work.
Jude Gardner-Rolfe: Phantazonia (Copyright © Jude Gardner-Rolfe, 2023)
About the Author
Yaya (they/them) is a staff writer at It's Nice That, with a particular interest in Black visual culture. They have previously written for publications such as WePresent, and worked as researcher and facilitator for Barbican and Dulwich Picture Gallery.