"Man, I can’t tell you how relieved I was when you took off your dress, you didn’t have a dick", 2021/22, mixed media
"Man, I can’t tell you how relieved I was when you took off your dress, you didn’t have a dick” says Clarence to Alabama in True Romance, as they sit high up, in front of the huge JMC truck billboard. Clarence’s post-sex relief is obvious; less so to most is the passing slap in the face of anyone watching who just might be trans or non-binary. Aw the early ‘90s. I still love and still hate that film. Some things in the world have changed; a great deal hasn’t.
This is a collection of reworked pieces, objects and ephemera from Cekca Het: Trans Panic, my recent exhibitions and performances based around a never-to-make-it noise band project. Cekca Het: Trans Panic celebrates and explores my identity pre-, during and post transition, through a mix of text, installation, moving image, sound, costume and performance. The work collapses my past and present, seeks domestic escape from medical horrors and social fears, considers my wriggles for position within trans spaces and art communities, and takes swipes at transphobic individuals and media.
The work was at at Freelands Foundation as part of their artist programme's cohort 2's show, and came out of my ongoing project and show Cekca Het: Trans Panic which showed at Mission Gallery, and @g39, Cardiff, as part of No Time To Plan An Ending (also including Becca & Clare, Freya Dooley, Rebecca Gould Will Roberts, Neasa Terry), in 2021
Cekca Het: Trans Panic is me, me then and now. It’s a mess of noise and memory, hope and fear; it’s a paene to the long lost and a statement of intent; it’s an exploration of secrecy and a lived life; it’s a search for a safe place within the hard wild reality of being trans.
The following is a text edit from Trans Panic magazine, produced as part of the exhibition at Mission Gallery, Swansea in 2021.
I'm caught between different states, officially: born and created in one, with time, experience, life, loves, people, messages, communications, paperwork to match (in the eyes of others); and living in another, one that I have been dreaming of, manufacturing and living for as many years as I can remember, to (re)make myself anew. I now have yet more proofs of who I am and will be; proofs on paper and trails online, proofs in stone, written, drawn, recorded; official statements in full. I have the beginnings of another whole lived life.
This is another new year. I'm about 11 in new years; I am coming to that time when in my earlier life I like to think I made myself; me, my heart, my fears, my wants and desires, my places and loves, my confusions. It was the '80s; I was sneaking Smash Hits and Melody Maker under the covers, figuring the closest I'd get to being a woman was Martin L Gore, ffs.
The work has been made during 2020/21, while based at g39, Cardiff on a Freelands Foundation fellowship, and developed from work supported by a grant from Arts Council Wales.
For a look around my studio go here. This virtual studio tour was commissioned by Freelands Foundation and scanned and produced by The Net Gallery.
CV & Education
2022 - Aggregate 2022, group show and performance, Freelands Foundation, London
2022 - Bath Fringe Art Fair, part of Umbrella's group exhibition
2019 - Freelands Fellowship through g39, Cardiff (2019 - 2022)
2021 - Cekca Het: Trans Panic
2021 - This Is No Time To Plan An Ending, g39, Cardiff
2021 - Conqueer, Strange Brew, Bristol
2021 - Careful Networks, Phoenix Leicester
2021 - Mission Gallery, Swansea
2020 - Arts Council of Wales grant
2019 - Warp library residency at g39, Cardiff - inc event, piulot launch of Cekca Het project
2019 - Cekca Het @Shindig, Warp library g39, Cardiff
2018 - Cut and Stick, Ollie Quinn, Queens Street, Cardiff
2018 - There are no celebrities..., Three Doors Up, Queens Arcade, Cardiff
2017 - Cardiff Artists Books, Printhaus, Cardiff
2017 - Off the Page, Chapter, Cardiff
2019 - visual/written response to Somewhere in the crowd there's you, Freya Dooley
2018 - artwork for Carw's album Skinshed
Previous solo showings
2017 - The Back Wall, Oriel Myrddin,
2016 - Arcadecardiff, Queens Arcade, Cardiff
2015 - The Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber
2015 - Spit and Sawdust, Cardiff
2013 - (with Emily Welham) Artlink, Hull
2011 - Corridor Gallery, 20/21, Scunthorpe
2011 - Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
2011 - Meeting Room Gallery, South Square, Thornton, Bradford
2010 - Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea
2005 - Being Around, various venues, Shrewsbury Arts Festival, Shrewsbury
2004 - Waiting Room, Newtown Station, Newtown, Powys
2002 - First Floor, Leicester University Library, Leicester
2000 - Coffee Lounge, Scarborough Art Gallery, Scarborough
1995 - Ozten Zeki Gallery, South Kensington, London
Other group exhibitions
2017 - Impressions of Wales, Oriel Ynys Mon
2016 - City Stories, Mission Gallery, Swansea
2011 - Make Room, Milkwood Gallery, Cardiff
2011 - Open up North, Brewery Arts Centre and Abbott Hall, Kendal
2010 - Open, Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate
2008 - if you build it they will come, g39, Cardiff
2008 - re:drawing, Oriel Davies Gallery, Powys
2001 - Open, City Gallery, Leicester
1998 - Out, Crescent Arts, Scarborough
1995 - Northern Graduates, Royal College of Art, London
1997 - Custard Factory, Birmingham , BIAD, Univeristy of Central England
1995 - Peter Scott Gallery, Lancaster University