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What do wolves, butterflies and Lady Gaga have in common? They are all associated with the illness lupus. Glasgow-based artist Adam Castle has the illness and wanted to find out more. He has created a musical film about lupus for Now & Next featuring a singing wolf and butterfly. As well making films, Adam has won an award for hosting a queer cabaret and founding a film festival.
Adam was diagnosed with the chronic health condition lupus when he was 12. Seen as a medical rarity due to his age, doctors took photos of him and gave a presentation about him at his hospital. One doctor told him,“In 20 years I have never seen a boy with lupus… but never say never.” Yet he was always too scared to find out more, and over a decade later Adam knew little about lupus and had only Googled lupus once.
Due to its reputation as hard to diagnose, many people in Scotland only know lupus from Hugh Laurie’s catchphrase in the medical TV drama House:“It’s never lupus.” For his Now & Next film, for the first time in his life, Adam researched his own medical condition and met a lupus expert, Dr. David Hunt. He then used what he discovered to make a musical film called ‘Lupi Lupi Lu’. Now, instead of being the subject of a one-line catchphrase, or a hospital medical presentation, Adam has put his personal take on lupus at the heart of an artwork.
Adam Castle is an artist, curator and creative producer. Alongside Now & Next, Adam has been commissioned by Talbot Rice Gallery and exhibited at Kunstmuseum, Bonn; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh and Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson. He is founder of Edinburgh Artists’ Moving Image Festival (EAMIF) and Pollyanna queer arts company, producing major moving image projects showing across Scotland and at KINDL Centre for Contemporary Art, Berlin and Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janiero. Adam is currently working on a new interactive video project funded by Creative Informatics.
Image description: A woman dressed in a grey wolf costume sits, hands in lap, on wooden stairs leading to a stage with a thick red stage curtain drawn across it.