Claye Bowler portrait, courtesy of the artist.

Claye Bowler

Henry Moore Institute

Claye Bowler (b.1995) is an artist based in Huddersfield. His work explores queer and trans narratives and how they have been perpetually hidden, erased or destroyed. Bowler uses sculpture and performance to subvert these practices in his own work as well as creating space to showcase and support other queer and trans artists. Over the past year Bowler’s work has focused around the isolation of lockdown paired with the physical transition of their body: the lead up to surgeries and the violence of the (stalled) wait involved under the diminished funding and care of the NHS.

Recent projects include: Director of Yonder Gallery, Not much further film commissioned and screened by Decoder 2020-2021 Exhibition – Sick! with Ro Hardarker 2021 at Yonder gallery, Huddersfield,  PANIC! Steering group member 2021-22, Participating artist for UKNA city takeover 2021 (postponed to 2022), Artist advisor for Threshold Sculpture, 2021 Young Curator for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2020 (postponed to 2021), Queer Contemporaries at Air Gallery Manchester and 2020 Member of YSI Sculpture Network 2020.

Huddersfield-based Claye Bowler is developing a new performance with Henry Moore Institute which will be filmed at Leeds Art Gallery and premiered in Leeds in September 2021.

The performance will be the culmination of a five-year durational performance around the subject of top surgery, Measured Transition 2016–2021, which began with Bowler shaving his head after first going to his GP to ask to be referred to an NHS gender identity clinic. He has grown his hair since that first appointment to visually depict the wait it takes to get surgery within UK healthcare.

Claye Bowler: Measured Transition 2016-2021

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