Conceived by singer songwriter/video artist Tim Arnold, What Love Would Want is a living art installation and performance piece that tours cities across the globe and films loving couples within the community of each city. The project’s aim is to promote love, diversity and inclusivity. In 2017, the project became a collaboration with portrait photographer Andy Fallon. The title refers to Arnold’s lyrics that suggest people ask what love would want instead of asking government, local authorities or religious organisations what they would want. The latest incarnation of the project starred the legendary Lindsay Kemp.
In the inaugural multimedia run of the 10-hour installation at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, Arnold filmed couples while Fallon photographed them again. This time, the piece was created on stage, cordoned off by a rope so that the public could walk onto the stage and see the work come to life. In the second act of the piece, Arnold recorded his song in front of a live audience with pianist Emmanuel Vass and the Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus as images of the couples that were filmed and photographed during the day were screen projected above the stage. For the final take of the song, legendary dancer and performance artist Lindsay Kemp created a dance to personify love, using elaborate lighting designs with his piece that has been known for many years as ‘The Angel’. The third and final act of the installation comprised of a discussion between Arnold, Kemp and Fallon and was presented by writer and broadcaster Katie Puckrik. You can read about Lindsay Kemp’s and Tim Arnold’s collaboration here.
In April 2017, Arnold and Fallon filmed and photographed 26 couples including actor Stephen Fry and his husband Elliot Spencer. Originally intended as a simple music video for Arnold’s song What Love Would Want, the song went on to be used to raise awareness about Chechnya’s policy on gay people, with Arnold performing the song at The Russian Embassy in a petition hand in by Amnesty International, along with public appearances from Sir Ian McKellan, Peter Tatchell and Michael Cashman.
Re-writing and recording the song in French with Canadian solo artists Ben Pelchat and Alexy Guerer, Arnold and Fallon repeated the visual recording process with couples from Toronto, including couples from the indigenous Canadian community.