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 Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Aberystwyth University. She advocates for women’s rights, trans rights and queer rights across the country. She is also the brains behind the online quiz that has been a 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. She lives in mid Wales, where she sings with the ‘natural voice’ choir Machapella. Jane runs Aberration with Helen and Ruth.
Helen Sandler programmes live arts for SpringOut events including Aberration. She is the publisher of Tollington Press and has previously run the York Lesbian Arts Festival, compered at London’s Bar Wotever and worked for Diva magazine, as well as writing fiction and poetry. Helen lives with Jane in the countryside in mid Wales. Her website is 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 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.