Penis straws and obscene quilts: the artist turning junk into a queer church

Paul Yore’s spectacular installations are arresting, playful and nostalgic – but look a little deeper to find a darker message

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Paul Yore is showing me his hearse. He’s always wanted to create a sculpture using a car (“they’re quite phallic, aren’t they?”) and throughout the pandemic, like many of us, he has been thinking about death. So when he found a hearse, he stripped all the paint off and turned it into a mosaic. In true Yore fashion, the car now has “FUCK ME DEAD” written in immaculate tiny tiles on the boot, over a numberplate that reads NO HOMO.

How does one just buy a hearse? “I just found it online,” he says mildly. He finished it in just three weeks. I ask to see his hands, expecting to see them mangled from years of sculpture and needlepoint, but all I see is neat nail polish and some surprisingly normal looking digits. “They’re not bad right now,” he says. “After big installations, I usually end up looking like I’ve been working with stray cats.”

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