After their inaugural show at Cooper Gallery in April, The Queer Dot is back with a brand new exhibition!
‘The Queer Dot: Our Space, Our Experience’ is an exhibition exploring what it means to be a queer artist living and working within Dundee, Scotland. Created by local arts collective ‘The Queer Dot’ (from the phrase “the year dot”), this show intends to amplify queer voices across the spectrum. LGBTQIA+ people have been here since the dawn of time, but for much of human history they have been discriminated against and erased from the historical narrative. ‘The Queer Dot’ is an attempt to combat that account, by re-inserting queer voices into the traditional art space.
The exhibitions opening night event on September 6th (6 – 9pm) will feature live poetry readings as well as the launch of ‘The Queer Dot’ zine, which includes submissions from queer artists across Scotland.
Showcasing the works of eleven artists across various mediums including painting, printmaking, animation, video-art and photography, ‘The Queer Dot: Our Space, Our Experience’ wishes to provide a place where people can feel safe and welcome – according to the ethos of the collective.
Featured artists include:
Greg Sutherland’s work explores themes of male homosexuality and masculinity through a working-class lens. Sutherland considers what being queer, masculine and working class looks like. In these pieces he explores the fetishisation of hyper masculinity in the gay community; considering how it stimulates excitement, fear and also feelings of admiration and longing to be equal. His work takes the form of contemporary jewellery fusing traditional metal skills and modern technologies. Taking inspiration from pop culture and gay iconography, Sutherland injects his work with humour and sex appeal to create objects that are engaging and relatable.
The typography and video collages of Steven Sheath demonstrate the power of words. Memory is a material woven into the typography Sheath uses in his installation, the memory being a conversation with his grandfather that helped him understand his identity. Accompanying the typography are two video collages making commentary on the toxic masculinity Sheath was once surrounded by, giving an insight into the heteronormative mould femgays are often forced to succumb too.
Ana Hine’s work is about how we process trauma. After experiencing a recent miscarriage, she has been using her painting practice to deal with feelings of loss, grief, and regret. Hine uses spray paint, acrylics, and permanent markers to make monochromatic pieces full of scrapes and drips. A key part of her practice is to use Teeline Shorthand to obscure the meaning of all or part of the work, in an attempt to provide a level of distance and privacy both for herself and for the viewer. Hine’s piece ‘Disqualified From Motherhood’ questions the idea of being ‘allowed’ to have children and what being a ‘good’ parent means, something which is of relevance to many queer people.
Leah Cameron is an illustration student at DJCAD who works chiefly in illustrated artworks and comics. They mainly use a combination of brush pen, inks and digital artwork to create unique, interesting comics with strong uses of simple colour schemes and bold, fluid line work. Their comics tend to focus on an autobiographic theme as a means of exploring their own identity, experience and ideas about what it means to be a young non-binary lesbian in the modern world and how difficult it can be to accept one’s own queer identity in a cis/hetero-normative society. The comics featured are a double bill of ‘Obviously Lesbian’ and ‘Fruitless Flower’, two comics which explore these issues from Cameron’s perspective.
Nic Hutson’s work centres around themes of identity, relationships, and healing through a queer and working-class lens. Using art as a means of processing life experiences and past trauma, their work is often raw and personal. Hutson uses scrap cardboard, acrylics, found objects and other ephemera to make richly textured mixed-media pieces with a common colour palette – layering traditionally feminine pink with harsh red and black. The use of bold and unapologetic text is a common theme throughout their work.
Their triptych ‘Identity Series 2’ features photos of the artist from 2015, around the time they first came out publicly as non-binary and bisexual. The work explores Hutson’s feelings around their identity and expression, feeling simultaneously too queer and not queer enough to be valid, and moving on from the past
Kris Thomassen is a Dundee based artist, their most recent work explores the feelings of a trans body, commencing to transition. The work is influenced by the feeling of excitement as well as the emotional strain it can place on familial relations. ‘Body of Weeds’ is a short animated film which explores various visual motifs reflecting these feelings. Traditional hand drawn animation makes use of hundreds of gradual and incremental changes. In this way the medium acts as an analogue for the transition process. The animation is then framed by two prints that unpack two of the main motifs featured, the possum and the dandelion. Both of these organisms are of great ecological importance but are often looked down upon as pests and weeds.
Lo Silverlund is a digital artist who explores themes of identity. Since childhood, Silverlund has been very interested in capturing their own imagination as a form of self-reflection. They use colour, shapes and digital tools create unique narratives. The piece “Acceptable” explores the concept of body image; which parts of your body are neutral? And which parts will cause a reaction? The persistent controversy of existing outside cis-gender norms is a current issue for queer people, having an ‘acceptable’ or ‘normal body’ is in itself a form of privilege that is rarely granted.
Shawna Milligan’s work is focused on experimentation and freedom of expression, which maintains a low-fi aesthetic and sense of spontaneity. Growing up in the Scottish Highlands Milligan felt isolated, trapped and unable to embrace their individuality and gender. Over the past few years, they have used their work to rebel against such heteronormative cultures by re-purposing clothing and objects such as bits of plastic, pieces of fur and day-to-day items that may be perceived as ‘tacky’ or ‘cheap’. Milligan’s installation is playful and chaotic, as they organise the objects in a manner that imbues the space with their identity. The maximalist aesthetic is intended to be provocative and challenging.
Morgan Black is a non-binary artist working mainly in the field of video and performance art. Black’s work centers around character and narrative derived from alternate personae – which also question binary norms, political and social constructs – and looks forward to a less dichotomous future world. Their non-binary gender status allows the artist to wear two faces and look, Janus-like, in two directions at once, a position which engenders its own discourse of individuality, satire, contradiction, subversion and opposition. Their current work “ID/entity” focuses on their position in society, displaying the public side of both personae and the middle ground that exists between them. This particular series of digital and analogue photographic works is informed by the 19th Century anthropometric and composite photographs of Bertillon and Galton, as well as contemporary artist Asa Johannesson whose portraiture explores gender non-comformity.
Rhiannon Dawn Dewar
Girldom is kinda morbid. Rhiannon Dawn Dewar has a complicated relationship with her queer-girldom, totally scared of not being bi-girl enough. Is her hyper-femininity more about wanting other girls to love her than herself? So, she’s been working on the concept of girldom in relationship to her queerness, how one affects the other. That concept has had a few evolutions; death obsession, fictional nostalgia, viewing the goddesses through the eyes of teen-girldom. Natural progression has been to the gods and spirits. How they would see her bi-girlness instead. How would iconic fictional spirit No-Face, who moulds to their surroundings, react in the presence of bisexual girls at breaking point? Explored in the post-pink video piece ‘No Face and Decay’, No-Face enters a bleeding-pastel utopia, forced to endure aging past teendom in a flurry of gore and finger nails; and the unresolved misery of not having time to taste it.
Lucie Rachel is a lens-based artist working with still and moving image to explore themes of domesticity, gender and sexuality. Her two-part project ‘Mother Father’ (2015) explores her trans parent’s queer history and their relationship with her Mother through a book and short film. Together they document the challenges of her parents’ relationship and how her parent’s identity was kept secret for decades. From 1976 to 2015, their first hand accounts, diary entries and archive photographs compose the book, while the video records their more recent recollections. Rachel’s current work continues to focus on intimate subject matter, moving between artist film and documentary genres to tell queer narratives.
A. R. Crow
‘The Queer Dot: Our Space, Our Experience’, GENERATORprojects, Dundee, Scotland.
Opening September 6th (6-9pm), continues 7th September – 22nd September 2019.
Live poetry readings (from 6:30pm) and zine launch on September 6th 2019.
GENERATORprojects is open 12 – 5pm, Thursday – Sunday.