Today's queer artist feature is @reubenbrownnart
Studying Fine Art at Belfast School of Art, I have began using visual art specifically sculpture as a tool to express what it feels like to grow up queer in Northern Ireland. Citing themes of sexuality, innocence and the aesthetics of sex, many of my sculptures take on an anthropomorphic and phallic nature. Using my own personal understanding of acceptance, exploration, desire and self-worth I attempt to embody various coming-of-age experiences unique to that of the LGBTQ+ community. In Darnell L Moore’s “Structureless, Structure and Queer Movements” sits the quotation, “what is at stake in the life of a queer who is not white, able-bodied, cis-male or ‘naturalised’ “ or in other words “what is at stake for the queers of the queers”. This has stuck with me and my practise and I commit myself to inter-sectional queer-activism through visual art. Using tactile materials such as leather, rope and latex I address the human form and the sexualisation and fetishisation of the queer community. Through mundane found-object sculpture and assemblage I utilise objects from my own childhood to challenge my association of these objects to particular memories in an attempt to normalise my own experience of queerness within a typical Irish household. I intend on extending my practise into sensory installation & performance. Focusing on my own experience with queer isolation in a unprecedented time of quarantine & COVID-19 I posed myself with the question: why am I myself and all of my queer friends coping just fine amidst this isolation? I quickly realised it is because we have trained ourselves from a young age to self-isolate ourselves from our own sexuality& feelings. I’m currently planning a series of oil paintings depicting little areas I used as a young person to question & come to terms with my own queerness and highlight their significance through sculptural installation, sound work, video and painting.