This is a small sampling of my portfolio featuring only exhibited works.
Dudes in Dresses, 2011
This triptych considers gendering and misogyny in fashion. As a non-binary artist, I consider the strictures society places on both genders problematic. On one front, this is a critique of masculine posturing and men’s fashion. The male models are posed naturally in haute couture gowns showing that masculinity is not compromised by costume.
The secondary theme focuses on the innate misogyny of fashion. In addition to already unrealistic body standards, women in fashion shows are corseted and padded to create unnatural silhouettes while men’s fashion follows the lines of the body. I restructured the gowns to follow the lines of the model’s bodies while maintaining the level of embellishment.
Rebel Rebel, 2016
This piece juxtaposes faces from the Irish revolution with those of contemporary queer activists and was created for the centenary of the 1916 Rising for Dublin Pride. The figures are Roger Casement and Jed Dowling, marriage equality activist and CEO of Dublin Pride; Constance Marckiewicz and Aisling Dolan, a marriage equality campaigner whose photograph hugging her overwrought fiancee at the announcement of the marriage equality referendum at Dublin Castle the previous year had been extensively used in the press; and Pádraig Pearse and Seán Meehan, a trans activist who had died by suicide that year. The figures are styled in make up based on David Bowie who had also died that year. Stylistically, the intention was to emulate block printing as used in dissident pamphlets.
This meditation on colonialism, cultural erasure and recovery comprised a poem in Irish and English with accompanying illustrations referencing Irish and Celtic culture. The English text is smaller and uses a san serif typeface that was used in English war propaganda in a bold red colour, while the Irish uses a traditional uncial face in a soft green to contrast with this visual brutality.
The piece was hung slightly above eye level forcing the viewer to stand up straight and because of the way the eye is muscled, it is uncomfortable to read while looking up, so the intention was to simultaneously make the viewer stand tall and proud while also making them feel uncomfortable, which I think ties to the feelings the poem evokes.