Tonight’s fabulous queer artist feature is Daniel Fountain.
Daniel Fountain is a queer artist exploring the intersections of craft-based practices and queer identity. His artistic practice commonly utilises found objects, discarded fabrics and marginalised materials to signify the ways in which queer lives can too often feel refusedin society.
My artistic practice utilises methods historically associated with handicraft and exploits the marginal and gendered status of such practices in order to create works that subvert traditional notions of gender, domesticity and sexuality. Particularly informed by the queer tactics of performativity, camp, failure and disidentification, resulting works are often maximalist and unapologetic; they are brightly coloured, excessively adorned and inherently kitsch. More recently through my practice-led PhD I have been concerned with the ways in which queer lives are often considered the abject ‘other’ of heteronormative society. Through a camp recycling practice that embraces the possibilities of working with found objects, marginalised materials and outmoded decorative styles I seek to recuperate the deprecated into a source of queer identity and strength.
With regards to homosexuality the term faggot was used as early as 1914, but in needlework faggoting (or fagotting) is a method of joining two pieces of fabric together leaving a small gap or ditch between them. This gap is usually filled with a decorative stitch to ‘fill’ the open-seam with the most common form being a zigzag pattern. Here, the process of faggoting has been used to unite scraps of waste fabric and the stitch itself has been intentionally exaggerated. Sections have also been adorned with bits of broken jewellery which provoke associations with the human body and notions of adornment or excess.
Faggot Bundles, 2019
Having researched the etymology of the term faggot further, results also revealed that the term has historical routes in processes of bundling – primarily the bundling of sticks or twigs into piles known as faggots. I have begun to experiment with tying found pipes and poles into bundles using off-cuts of rope to reference the historic tradition of these faggot bundles. Single gloves that I often find abandoned have been stuffed, adorned and placed atop these in a humorous manner. Shibari bondage knots have also been used to bind the ‘armatures’ as a subtle reference to queer S/M culture.
Whilst nests are sometimes constructed in an elaborate and aesthetically pleasing way, they are more importantly a space of function and comfort; to raise young, to court, to mate, to call home. The way in which such structures are constructed from ‘nothingness’ continues to inform my recent research. Given that queer citizens often feel cast aside or ‘refused’ in society, it felt fitting to construct my own nest using materials that have been discarded, tainted, unloved and marginalised. The aim here is to give agency to these shunned objects and to create a space for unwanted citizens to call home; it invites viewers to sit, contemplate and revel in the salvage.