“In Dedication”- British Artists’ Tribute to Trans Life

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The “In Dedication” exhibit on display at The Koppel Project Hive in London includes the work of 28 trans and non-binary artists with “pieces themselves [that] explore themes of memory, community, the body, history, ancestors, desire, longing, future, ritual, healing, liberation, resistance and love.” The exhibit takes much of its inspiration from the Northern Irish trans artist and activist Sophie Gwen Williams, who envisioned The Koppel Project before her passing in 2021. She was a leading figure in the trans art community, who both co-founded the trans and gender non-conforming community organisation, We Exist, and created 343 radio, the first queer radio station in Ireland. With the help of curator Iarlaith Ni Fheorais, artist June Lam and other mentees, the “In Dedication” display incorporates work from artists like Kumbirai Makumbe, Ebun Sodipo, Bones Tan Jones, Delia Detritus, Chloe Filani and Yaz Metcalfe.

Read excerpts from i’D writer Anastasiia Fedorova’s article, “6 artists exploring the joy & pain of the trans experience” (June 6, 2022) for more description of this arm-in-arm tribute to trans existence:

“The situation for trans people in the UK has become untenable at times. We have the government, the media and leading public figures of the attack, leading to real reversals of the merger gains we’ve made in this country. This is on top of the unacceptable and lethal waiting lists to access care, leaving many trans people unable to access even the most basic healthcare,” [Iarlaith Ni Fheorais] says. “In this context, it was fortifying to work with so many talented trans artists who are actively imaging and crafting new visions of the world, the foundation of a political action. Although it was profoundly enriching to look to the future, this lived alongside many artists making work in remembrance of those we’ve lost in this struggle with a sense of loss very present.”

Many works in the exhibition take the form of altars or memorials — like Saati J Conran-McCormack’s “beautiful tribute to a friend which combines a hand-painted portrait and flowers encased in a plexiglass box”. Walking across two floors of The Koppel Project Hive, you’re invited to process both loss and celebration, to become malleable, to listen, weep and to absorb the future beyond the gender binary.

Read the complete article here.


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