This Y2K-themed immersive installation confronts themes of childhood nostalgia. It may evoke feelings of joy, solidarity, grief, and nostalgia or bring up weird and spicy memories.
Today you are in community, you are safe to be yourself and let your inner child out.
Childhood pain is something many of us are familiar with. During the most precious, mushy years of our lives, we can experience traumas, losses, and grief that keep us stuck in that moment until we heal it. A profound memory for me was coming home from my 4th birthday party and having police waiting for us. My older brother and sister had a different dad, a whole separate family from me. That night while I was opening presents and cutting the cake, their father, grandmother and aunt would pass away in a tragic accident changing our lives forever. Not only was this a traumatic loss for my siblings, but my birthday now forever symbolized grief, pain, loss and a noticeable lack of self-celebration. Taking up room on a day when pain was prioritized felt wrong. I've spent a lifetime inching my way back into spaces ever since.
The 90's and 2000's lied to us. The media didn't just passively praise thin, hairless, hetero, white bodies... they made a point to shame those who deviated even a lil'. We never saw intersectional queerness, body hair, cellulite, or rolls unless it was splattered across a magazine cover to shame some celebrity.
Similtaneously the words "mental health" weren't even in our vocabulary. Not only were we destroying people based on their appearance but we couldn't even see that bullying and body shaming would be so detrimental to our mental healths.
So who would we be? How would we love ourselves if we weren't fed such a narrow idea of our humanity? Who would we be if we were first prescribed community care, self-expression, softness and curiosity before pills? If neurodivergence and queerness were seen as an asset?
Show me a queer and I'll show you someone who needs to be held. There is something so deeply isolating about confronting our gender and sexuality that can be so hard to articulate. We're constantly navigating little pockets of confusion around family, relationships, sex, expression, life purpose, mental health, and understanding where to take up space.
Inter-community issues happen across the board and it's important that we don't internalize or project our fears onto each other. While part of the world works overtime to misunderstand us, it's never been more important to hold space for each other. This installation represents the deep desire we all have of being fully seen, fully held, and fully accepted in our humanness regardless if we're vulnerable enough to reach out for connection.
So come be held.
"Spill the T(ruth)" has become synonymous with a lil' gossip shared amongst the girlies- and it originated in Black drag culture in the 90's.
Men often see gossip as a form of petty communication, but amongst women and queer communities it's seen as survival. Hetero men are not typically socialized to communicate beyond the surface, but that's exactly where the real truth is. Gossip is how we share our experiences, name unsafe people or places, share survival skills, wisdom or hope. It's where we bond, we cry, we laugh and we connect over our humanity.
When I think of gossip as a form of survival, I think about the Underground Railroad. I think about the generations of secrets, symbolism, and quiet talk that lead to saving lives.
I think about the villages, the communities where women talk when the men aren't around. How secrets of child rearing and surviving abuse were whispered amongst our ancestors.
Gossip, spilling the "tea", laughing at ourselves and bonding is how we build strong communities. Let's build some friendship bracelets together.
What makes us wanna die inside more than being witnessed in vulnerability? And what's more vulnerable than raw, collaborative expression? No second guessing on taking up canvas space or actualizing the little drawing in your head, just go for it.
The slow layering of mediums, textures, styles, colours and composition reflects our individual contributions to the fullness of society. Each mark on the canvas, each magazine cut out pasted with intention, each splash of colour- all fundamental in the final piece. We literally cannot finish with out you.
A true expression of childhood whimsy. The joy. The ease. The ability to get lost in your head because we didn't know too much then. Remember "then" before we knew how it all worked? Before we knew the system that was crushing us was actually working perfectly fine? I wanna go back to there, where I wasn't so jaded that I could close my eyes and get lost in another reality. One where nature thrives, where we hear the birds and feel the warmth before we crack open our eyes and see the sun, the leaves, the flowers, and the bugs. All of it.
A planet where our Indigenous communities lead the world-
and we listen to them on how to love her.
✨Use code FREESHIP until June 23 to save $10 - $15✨