Bring your 'freaky posse' to this queer art show on Halloween

Cosmogyny will include various mediums, from paintings to puppetry

This Halloween, those looking to experience unique art can look to Cosmogyny — an event described as a “very queer group show,” according posters hanging around campus.

The three-hour show will be on Oct. 31 and start at 5 p.m. in Fine Art Complex 1101. The event will showcase paintings, drawings, puppetry and videos that incorporate themes ranging from gender identity to religion.

As noted on its event page on Facebook, the show will explore the “sensuous, supernatural worlds” of its three presenting artists: Hannah Irene Walsh, Paige Annabelle Turncliff and Dain Q. Gore.

According to Gore, the show is for an adult audience, and some of the art will display mature content.

Gore, an artist, puppeteer and ASU alumnus with a bachelor's in drawing and a master's in painting, said the work he presents will focus on religion.

“We all kind of create our own realities, and we all base it on an attempt to organize this universe in a way that makes sense to us," Gore said. "I think that's why I'm still so fascinated by religion and especially the religion I grew up in.”

Gore will present an interactive puppet show at Cosmogyny, which will have several puppet interpretations of Jesus Christ.

“Audience members will vote on which Christ they think is the best,” Gore said. “They will all represent different splinter groups of Christianity that existed before Rome made it its official religion.”

Turncliff, an artist and animator from Brisbane, Australia, said she met the other artists online before moving to Phoenix a few years ago. Since then, she said they have collaborated to share the fictional worlds they construct in their creative work.

“This is an opportunity for me to sort of take the world that I live in and share it with people through paintings,” she said.

Turncliff said her work focuses on gender identity, particularly characters that don’t fit gender norms. She said her work is informed by her experiences as a trans woman in Brisbane, a city she said is less accepting of transgender people than Phoenix.

“It got to the point where I couldn't really catch the bus anymore, and I didn't have my own transport,” Turncliff said. “So I just spent more and more of my time holed up in my house with my housemates and was kind of miserable.”

Turncliff said over time she has begun to incorporate trans issues into more of her work.

“Most of my characters are either trans or in some way gender-variant,” Turncliff said. “Or if not, they're usually gay or bisexual.”

Walsh, an arts educator and ASU alumna with a master's in drawing and painting, said her work displays internal struggles physically.

“My drawings feature, for example, the human body enduring wounds or involved in physical conflict that represents more psychological conflict," Walsh said.

She said she hopes her art sets an example for artists to incorporate their interests in their work.

“When I engage with my students, I'm trying to create a bridge,” Walsh said. “Some kind of harmony between learning the basics of how to make art, but also saying ‘Your interests are valid, and you can incorporate those interests into what you're learning.’”


Reach the reporter at jkbeneve@asu.edu and follow @JacobBenevento on Twitter.

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