This is an installation which I am facilitating as part of the Trans/Forms exhibition of transgender artists at Hamilton House, to mark Transgender day of Remembrance which takes place every year on November 20th. Visitors are invited to write the name of a transgender person who lost their lives through transphobic violence and add it to the piece. Through this I hope to give people a way to honour those departed as well as to encourage people who may not know much about the issues affecting transgender people to engage with the issue of transphobic violence.
Here is what I wrote about it for the exhibition:
Transgender day of remembrance is held on November 20th every year. On this day across the world people hold vigils and memoral ceremonies for transgender people who have lost their lives through transphobic violence in the last year. As part of this a list of names is compiled, using news sources from around the world. This year the number of names is 271, with most being trans people of colour.
I invite you to partake in helping create a memorial to these 271 individuals, as well as those who are unnamed who’s deaths were never reported, those who’s trans identity was erased after their death and those who took their own lives.
It was the opening night of the Trans/Forms exhibition last night, and what a wonderful night it was! We had intense and beautiful live art from Raju Rage and exciting and celebratory drumming from Afon Sistema, which took us out of the gallery and through to the canteen to entertain unsuspecting punters. The co-created memorial for transgender day of remembrance had a good start on it, and is looking really beautiful. It’s great to see my Man Cunt paintings framed and on the wall for the first time,
and I was very excited to see Ludo Foster’s beautiful, subtle drawings and Rachel Green’s bright and bold sculptures alongside each other. Altogether it’s so great to see such an eclectic mix of amazing work by trans people altogether in one place!
I’m so grateful to all the people who believed in the project and supported
it, and I’m so happy that we were able to manifest such a powerful and beautiful thing. Thank you to all the artists for being willing to show themselves through their work, to CoResist who I worked in collaboration and who worked out a lot of the practical stuff, to the coexist gallery managers for being so accommodating, and to my friends and housemates for putting up with me for the last week.
This is the first time I’ve done something like this and I’ve certainly learnt a lot, there are a lot of things I’d do differently at future events. I’m very open to feedback, it would be really great if people could let me know what they think works/worked well and what could be improved and I’ll strive to accept feedback with grace and not take it personally (unless it’s from someone being transphobic in which case they can fuck right off).
Buy tickets for the fundraiser on the 13th here or at the Hamilton House reception
For more information visit the Trans/Forms facebook page or find us on Twitter @TransFormsBrist
Friday November 13th will see the launch of a series art, performance and music events over 10 days at Hamilton House in the run up to Transgender day of remembrance, now in it’s 18th year, with 8 groups and individual artists coming from across the UK.
My motivation behind the Trans/Forms project is to create space for artists who identify as transgender to represent themselves and explore new narratives of gender and identity. I wanted to do this because I feel trans people within mainstream media are generally treated as stereotypes and cliches, with the same limited narrative being repeated and rehashed over and over.
The IndieGoGo campaign I created to fund the production of prints of my new paintings reached it’s target on Sunday! Thank you so much to those who contributed, and if you missed out they will be available for purchase through my website in the next few months. Watch this space!
Transgender day of remembrance is an event that is commemorated on November 20th to remember those who have lost their lives due to transphobic violence around the world. Through this day we remember those who have been lost to violence, as well as raise awareness of the struggles that many trans* people face because of their gender identity and expression. One of the main features of these events is called the Reading of the Names, in which the names of those who have lost their lives are read out so they can each be honoured.
To see us into the next week I thought I’d share these pictures I took of one of the paintings as I made it from the initial sketch of basic shapes to the finished piece, showing the process of building shape and form using many layers of colour. I used watered down acrylic paint, and I don’t mix shades at all but use the layering to create different shades Click below the line to see.