Rural environments are frequently seen as existing in opposition to queerness, with urban spaces typically being more accepting places for LGBTQIA+ people. This exhibition looks at ways in which queer artists are re-connecting with the landscapes around them by mapping and navigating their queer identity within these places, seeking sanctuary and connection, and disrupting traditional or prescribed ways of looking and understanding. Several works involve solitary communion with vast uninhabited landscapes that offer a space to safely explore away from society’s gaze, yet there also often exists an inescapable suggestion of isolation and struggle.
Claye Bowler’s film, Not Much Further (2020) visualises the “burden of dysphoria” and the wait for surgery through a walk on the moor. The plaster cast Bowler carries acts as a version of himself that is changeable and fragile.
In you must everywhere wander (2021), Whiskey Chow combines filmed performance with CGI animation to transform a queer masculine body into an expansive fantasy landscape centred around ideas of care and the body as a homeland.
RA Walden’s Crip Ecologies archives the artist’s limited involvement with the natural world due to their disability, positioning the fragility of the body in relation to the fragility of our ecosystems.
Sadé Mica’s film work considers how their body is both freed and restricted within certain environments by “liberating myself and my limbs in the British countryside, posturing against vast landscapes foreign to me”. Mica visited YSP in April and will present a new work made on site.
SHARP’s There will be no landing at the lighthouse tomorrow (2021) combines video, field recordings, spoken word and photography that connect moments in queer and personal histories via shifting landscapes.
Ro Robertson uses sculpture, drawing and performance to explore boundaries of the human body and its environment. Their work embodies a space that is shifting and fluid, reclaiming a queer space in the natural landscape in opposition to rigid structures. In the Bothy Gallery Robertson will show a new performance to camera work connecting the body and the flux of the tidal zone, and sculptural work Stone (Butch) (2021) outdoors.
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
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