Aberration is a long-running series of fabulous LGBTQ+ arts events in Mid Wales, programmed by a trio of friends. The trading name of the organisation responsible is SpringOut – a small not-for-profit partnership.
Aberration began when Helen Sandler and Jane Hoy met Ruth Fowler at an event she’d organised in Aberystwyth. We all got together to start programming LGBT+ events for Mid Wales audiences back in 2013 and we haven’t stopped since.
Ruth Fowler has featured twice in Wales Online lists of influential LGBT+ people because of her work with Aberration and as a former Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Aberystwyth University – where she is now Faculty Manager (Arts & Social Sciences). Ruth advocates for women’s rights, trans rights and queer rights across the country. She is also the brains behind the online quiz that was the cult hit of the Covid years, Who Wants To Win Three Quid When This Is All Over?
Jane Hoy researches, writes and performs in Queer Tales from Wales, our very own travelling theatre. Jane was a founder member of Queer Playback Theatre Company. She is also trained in forum theatre and is a keen dancer on the LGBT latin and ballroom scene. Jane worked for many years in university adult education.
Helen Sandler is the publisher of Tollington Press and previously ran the York Lesbian Arts Festival, compered at London’s Bar Wotever and worked for Diva magazine, as well as writing fiction and poetry. In 2023 she is guest book reviews editor for Planet magazine. Helen and Jane live together near Machynlleth. helensandler.co.uk
Helen and Jane had previously put on events with their friends Sue Gorbing and Sal Hampson under the SpringOut name in Shrewsbury and around the UK, including the arts programme at L Fest. SpringOut still exists as a small partnership organisation and an umbrella for our projects.
Sue Gorbing (left) and Sal Hampson were programmers and organisers for the Shropshire Rainbow Film Festival on and off from 2006. Sue was on the Jury for Best Feature at the 2014 Iris Prize Festival. From 2011 to 2013, Sue and Sal programmed the films at L Fest, the UK’s lesbian arts and music festival. There they created the first cinema to be held in a tin barn decked out as Grandma’s Lounge. Sal and Sue are also partners in changes, a community development training and consultancy co-op, with their mate Jill. They run SAND, working for better provision for older LGBT+ people.