London Pride 2022

Link Pride

An important anniversary

2022 was a very important year for Pride. The 2nd July marked UK Pride’s 50th anniversary. And it was also the first Pride parade for two years in the wake of the pandemic.

Link wanted to mark this double celebration in a big way.

First, we organised a Link Walking Group for the Pride parade itself, with a picnic in Paddington for lunch before heading out to join the parade.

It was a fun day and we had a great turnout not just for the parade itself, but for our walking group too. We’ll definitely be doing something similar in 2023.

The Link Pride Competition 2022

Our celebration of Pride didn’t end with the parade itself. We took the opportunity to go big with a competition to raise funds for LGBTQ+ charities while getting some of the UK’s biggest insurance firms to think about the real meaning of Pride.

So we worked together with Artiq, an art agency that works with businesses to embed creativity into their culture, to co-host the competition, and invited members from across our network to show us what Pride meant to them by submitting a proposal for a bespoke maquette (a sculptor’s preliminary model). Any form of creative expression was welcomed – a sketch, a book, a piece of poetry.

We saw 20 incredible submissions from teams at partnering companies across the Link network, including:

  • SCOR
  • Apollo Syndicate 1969
  • Concirrus
  • Markel International
  • Superscript
  • Lockton Companies LLP
  • Miller Insurance Services LLP
  • Charles Taylor
  • Pacific Life Re
  • Eliot Partnership
  • esure Group
  • Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated
  • Kennedys
  • Tokio Marine HCC
  • CFC
  • Brit Insurance
  • Covéa Insurance
  • Gallagher Re
  • AEGIS London
  • AXA UK

The entries were imaginative and creative. Some were fun and challenging. Some were moving. Some were downright abstract and difficult. But all had something interesting to say, once more proving the level of creativity within Insurance, as well as its commitment to promoting inclusion and acceptance across the sector.

Our hand-picked panel of expert judges then took several weeks between their busy schedules to review and judge the entrants.

The three worthy winners were:

  • SCOR
  • Superscript
  • Pacific Life Re

These three winning teams then collaborated with artists Holly Buckle, Dr Sarah-Joy Ford and Aphra Shemza from the Artiq network to realise their maquettes and bring them to life.

Superscript’s design was inspired by the NAMES Project Memorial Quilt. The protective characteristics of a quilt, along with the patchwork representing the community at large, was a clever way of relaying the sentiments through formal qualities. Dr Sarah-Joy Ford has been drawing on her experience as a quiltmaker and textile artist exploring the complexities and pleasures of queer communities, histories and archives to realise this design.

The SCOR submission drew heavily from nature, linking the history of the queer community and their experience to the form of a tree. This analogy was well executed and began a conversation on the roots of activism in the community. Multimedia artist Aphra Shemza, with special thanks to her sister from the LGBTQ community, has created a light sculpture that both addresses and reflects the aspirations of the proposal by working the technological and the natural into cohesion.

Pacific Life Re’s idea was founded upon an intricate telling of Pride’s past experience and history, building from the symbolism associated with LGBTQ+ history, such as the iconic Lambda symbol and the biangles. Their innovative use of clear glass set their design apart, reflecting a dualism existing in the perception and reality of queer life today. Artist Holly Buckle was chosen to bring this idea to life, following the style of their most recent body of work, which looks at queer history and connection.