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Theo White
“Love So Nice” (2019)Theo White

Theo White’s 6FT is an art mag grown from the hardships of global lockdown

Featuring Anish Kapoor to Campbell Addy, Ms Carrie Stacks, Liz Johnson Artur, Tim Walker, and many more

“I felt the drive to create something to bring us together, even as we stand six feet apart,” says artist and publisher Theo White, speaking of his just-released, limited edition, 100-page art publication titled 6FT. Named after the British government’s recommended social distancing guidelines, White says 6FT is a “celebration of solidarity and hope” which was created during lockdown. At a time when those two things felt so far away, with enforced isolation and uncertain futures, White reached out to his community to ensure they kept creating and collaborating.

From Anish Kapoor to Campbell Addy, Ms Carrie Stacks, Liz Johnson Artur and Tim Walker, the inside of 6FT ranges from intimate interviews to art portfolios, Dear Diary, fashion shoots, and agony aunt columns. Available as part of an edition of 500, the one-off publication is available to order now with all proceeds going to the UKQTIBIPOC Emergency Relief & Hardship Fund.

As he shares some of the spreads from 6FT, we speak with White to find out more.

“Chaotic, uncertain times like these need Joy, Light and Unity – I felt the drive to create something to bring us together, even as we stand six feet apart” – Theo White

What was the reason for creating 6FT?

Theo White: I wanted to create a publication that celebrated the Black queer community and upliifted the voices of Black British queer pioneers who have done, and continue to do, the good work. Chaotic, uncertain times like these need Joy, Light and Unity – I felt the drive to create something to bring us together, even as we stand six feet apart.

How did you decide who you would ask to contribute?

Theo White: Initially I reached out to friends and artists whose work I admire and thought would add to the message of solidarity and hope. 6FT Represents a massive, collective effort from artists of all nationalities and backgrounds. I am so grateful to every single artist who has generously contributed work that resonated with them in this moment.

Tell us more about the physical act of putting something together like this, which is all about community, when we all had to be forced apart?

Theo White: I’m naturally a very physical person so i was a little apprehensive about creating a publication entirely in lockdown and the potential obstacles. Thankfully I had a lot of support and good vibrations around the project from the get- go so it all worked out how it was meant to be. I think one good thing that did come out of this pandemic is that it really opened people’s eyes to what’s important in this world and going back to the nature of that.

What are some of your favourite features in the zine?

Theo White: I really loved the conversations and written features from the black queer community like the wonderful intergenerational conversation with Ajamu and Campbell Addy and the heart to heart between Kai-Isaiah Jamal and Ms. Carrie Stacks. It was very important for me to have these voices included in the publication black queer people who i admire and i’m curious about.

I’ve always felt that there is a lack of real representation of black queer life in the media so it was imperative for me to share our own stories straight from the horses mouth – no filter – not just the performative/pride aspects of the community.

Another special feature I really loved was the isolation diary by Taboo, it’s a real insight into the day to day struggles of what life is like for alot of young queer people who may not see eye to eye with their families due to their sexuality and lifestyles. Being forced together during lockdown created its new challenges to navigate and I wanted to document that. I hope that any queer boys or girls reading it will finish knowing that they are not alone in the fight for freedom and living the life they desire without fear.

Why are you donating funds to the UK QTIBIPOC Hardship Fund?

Theo White: When the lockdown was announced I immediately started worrying about my friends in the community who I knew would be directly affected by the lockdown and ongoing disruption caused by COVID-19 and I wanted to do my part. At the time the UK QTIBIPOC Hardship Fund was the only fund I saw which was directly helping to raise funds to help the community.

What do you hope people take away after reading 6FT?

Theo White: I hope people take with them 6FT’s message of celebration, solidarity and hope and make the necessary changes in their own world. We are all in this together, let’s all unite in LOVE.

Will we see another iteration of 6FT?

Theo White: 6FT was made in isolation and to document this unique moment in time so i think it will be a one-off in physical form, however I hope the message is everlasting. I would love to continue with an online presence. There’s still work to be done… watch this space.

6FT is available here