Photographs of Fae by Dani Southcombe
Fae Mac Darragh
In my work I explore forms of pain and brutality that I hold close to my heart. I engage with my art as a way of exercising my autonomy. the nature of my being is often denied completely. core parts of who i am are believed not to exist, or believed to be wrong. My work takes my existence into my own hands. I address my hurt, which for me is a boundary setting practice. In doing this I set up foundations for discovering what I need in order to heal and to thrive. I share that with the world because I believe healing is a collective responsibility.
I am a person of trans experience and have been aware of how little in depth some stories have been explored. The focus currently is on white binary trans people who are able bodied. and not on their experiences but an aesthetics based take on physical transition (before and after shots, for example). This has left too many of our gender diverse siblings isolated, voiceless and objectified instead of heard, especially those of different cultural backgrounds where gender diversity was honoured until invasion, colonisation and genocide.I want to encourage a complex understanding of gender diverse people and their situations, beliefs, histories, cultures and joy instead of a hyper fixation on physicality and a generalized view of our lives.
I want to share my experience of disability and the struggles of having a degenerative physical disease. The pain i feel is not often visible and through art i'm given a therapeutic opportunity to process this and feel like i can communicate the pain i experience without it turning into a labouring explanation. Gender and disability are married in my life. Disability can liberate us the same way gender can but both these words are often used by institutions as an attempt to control our quality of life and assign a limited potential. My art is how I am learning to liberate myself.
In conversation with Mac Darragh and Dani Southcombe
Topics covered and time codes:
0:00 neurodiversity/ ways of thinking
21:00 activism and "struggling to feel included in a place that claims they want to include me"
34:26 redefining success /inaccessibility at art school
54:00 ceramics practice
1:10:00 trans experience
1:31:00 art practice /exploring material and intentions
1:37:00 drawing as a mindfulness practice
1:39:00 future prospects /final words