1. Portal  2. Cave Entrance

My name is Aaron Feeney, I’m a 19 year old multidisciplinary artist from Balloch, West Dunbartonshire. My pronouns are he/him and my art instagram is @touchmoss.

I study Sculpture and Environmental Art and so my practise is grounded in this framework, but I also write, draw, paint, do photography and more. The most important part of my practise for me is my fabric art- I create intricate hand-sewn compositions using old clothes of mine and my families and see the process of hand sewing as a spiritual healing exercise and an energy transferral which imbues the work with a certain life-force. In my art I like to explore ugliness, nature as frightening/villainous, and my own imagined worlds. I am inspired by microorganisms, fantasy/science fiction, Southern American outsider art, and nature (particularly caves and the mythologies surrounding them). I want my art to feel eerie and slightly magical. The artists Yves Tanguy, Hilma Af Klimt, Agnes Varda, Hieronymus Bosch and Leorna Carrington, the books Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson and The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, and the movies Alien (1979), Princess Mononoke, The Descent and Ginger Snaps have all had a profound impact on my art.

I personally don’t use the term queer to describe myself and have some issues with the term but I've resigned myself to the fact that its the done thing these days and I better go along with it. Although little of my art is consciously to do with queerness, I do find that my identity and experiences influence my interest in creating a unique and layered aesthetic which is as off-putting as it is enticing. This push/pull between repulsion and desire feels very queer to me. I think the term “queer art” is useful in describing a certain aesthetic/set of concepts which seems to embody or explore  the (extremely nebulous) term “queer”, and the popularisation of the term has made way for a lot of interesting art theory surrounding queer aesthetics. However I don’t think all art by queer people can be said to be “queer art” as not all queer people do art about or are influenced by queerness, neither do I think an artist has to be queer to make art which is understood within this framework. Queer art is complex and multifaceted and often isn’t explicitly “about” sexuality or gender.

Everything about the way trans people are treated in our culture generally gives me a headache. I’m not a fan of trendy publications like ID mag etc being unable to talk about a trans artist without making their transness the focal point (especially when the artist's work has nothing to do with it.) Unless the work is relevant to their gender I don’t think an artists transness should be mentioned by cis-led publications or institutions as it too quickly becomes an opportunity to seem “woke” and “on-trend”. This feels exploitative and dehumanising. Obviously I want more trans people to be represented in the arts but I’m sick of all the ulterior motives behind this inclusion. I would never want to be seen as a “trans artist”- I’m just an artist.

I hope that popular thinking about gender/sexuality will be a lot more nuanced and centred around respect and dignity and that anyone who wants to will be able to access hormones/surgery for free without having to wait years. Most importantly I hope that wealth inequality, poverty rates and rates of homelessness have decreased dramatically and that UK leftist movements are more active and effective than they have ever been. Longer term I think it would be fun if gender was abolished and we all lived in peaceful anarchist societies.

I love Daemon Clelland ( ig: shrekx666), Brianna Rose Brooks (ig: briannarosebrooks), Lilith (ig: theringinghouse), Poncili Creacion (ig: poncilicreacion), and (one of my favourite artists ever) Tau Lewis (ig: taulewis).

Still from video piece: GIRL GIANT