I am a trans performance and textiles artist, my practice is informed by my experience of mental and chronic illness. Thematically it's intimate, existential and camp. I am my own subject matter: Insanity as source material. My performance is every day, dressing up and doing makeup keeps me alive. I document myself because I want to be loud and queer, I want to be small and soft, I want to be vulnerable and rough, I want to pretend to have a purpose. Clowns are often a motif in my work; a way I relate to being an othered body in a binary world. They have uncanny feel and I love the way clowns hold dialectics: Horror and Humour, Sadness and Joy. I too feel full of opposites with black and white thinking with having borderline personality disorder, a tendency to make me think of things in extremes emotionally. I am trying to process what being a disabled artist means for me and my practice. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia this February it's a lifelong illness of widespread chronic pain, memory and concentration problems and chronic fatigue. I have already identified with the label disabled in relation to my mental illness, but it has taken on a new meaning with the addition of fibromyalgia. I am grieving an able-bodied life and I am learning how to move through the world with a chronic illness. I dress-up like always, I paint my face like always, I go on.
ROCKY REASON,is a body of work I made at the Fowlers Gap field trip. It is a yearly trip to the UNSW research station 100kms out of Broken Hill on stolen Wilyakali land.
My experimentation was driven by how I, a person with intersecting identities, fit into the arid zone landscape of Fowlers gap. It made me think about how I fit more broadly into the world. I struggle feeling like I fit into this life, I struggle staying alive. I'm having a lot of difficulty adjusting to my new diagnosis of fibromyalgia, my whole life has changed on top of being mental already. I have a lot of existentialism to work with and work with it I do.
I want to highlight the contrast of the stark land and my bright form as it shows how much I stick out here. I am not attempting to blend in, I know I stick out I always do, and I am embracing and highlighting the fact.
The video of myself applying makeup in an empty riverbed holds a strong memory of place. Sitting in my see-through polyester dress in the heat putting grease paint on, I sit upon history on this riverbed. I think of all the times it would have filled and emptied, filled and emptied. Things always seem to go into a cycle, that's what I'm telling myself. I'm just going through the motions.