Utilizing a TRANSdisciplinary and iterative process, with a focus on collage and installation, I am investigating identity & private space in relationship to the public spaces of the art gallery & internet. My thesis project, PLAY House, comprises three installation works that occupy, whether physically or digitally, the same three-walled room. Holliday Home (Glitch of the Heart) (2020), MySpace.jpg (2020), and PLAY Room (2021) were all created during the Covid-19 pandemic and explore intimacy, collaboration, isolation, and self-reflection with a focus on transforming a public space. These installations act as self-portraits that aim to invite the viewer into a private space as a means of creating understanding and connection between the artist and the participant.
As my work is autobiographical, my positionality as a Canadian Queer Disabled ‘90s Kid is key to unpacking my methodology of FUN(ny) + PLAY(sure/ful) art, terms I’ve invented for the purpose of this thesis. While both FUN + PLAY evoke child-like pleasure, FUN(ny) is one’s experience with pleasure, and is a synonym for something humorous, while PLAY(sure/ful) is the thing that activates one’s experience with pleasure and a synonym for sexuality. Ideally, FUN + PLAY activate Queer Pleasure (Pride & Joy), which decreases Queer Pain (Shame, Anxiety, and Depression). FUN + PLAY are essential to our survival, culture, learning and innovation (Raph Koster, Johan Huizinga, Adrienne Maree Brown). Queerness & Disability drive me to engage in FUN + PLAY and dictate my choice of a Colourful (Sidney Teodoruk), Campy (Susan Sontag), Maximalist (Antoine Lortie), Deskilled or “BAD” (Taylor Anton White), Dada, POP Art aesthetic. This hybridized aesthetic is funneled into my research on private space as self-portraiture & its relationship to the public art world (Vincent van Gogh, Robert Rauschenberg, Tracy Emin, and Erica Stocking). Through my research & practice I conclude that Queer Pleasure & FUN + PLAY are essential in how we connect to ourselves and others in an uplifting way that is generative for learning, creativity, self-love, and community building.