New exhibition Queer Utopia highlights important issues for LGBTQ+ community

Artist Mariette Feeney explains the impetus for a sculptural exhibition designed to represent the queer ideal.

A young woman wearing a facemark poses beside a sculpture
Image: Jilly McGrath

“I want people to walk in and think, someone very gay made this.”

Mariette Feeney’s Queer Utopia exhibition has premiered in A4 Sounds on St Josephs Parade. Feeney’s exhibition is a physical manifestation of a series of interviews conducted where they asked queer people what do they want and what is important to them

Feeney is an artist and designer currently living and working in Dublin. They moved from the UK to Ireland in 2013 to live and study, and graduated from TUD with a degree in Furniture Design. Their work is centred around the personal, small and often over looked aspects of queer life, and through their sculpture they give physical form to the idea that in order to do good work, we must all have a place to retreat.

Feeney uses Queer Utopia as a mechanism to engage with queer people. Feeney designed sculptures based on interviews they conducted with queer people surrounding the queer ideal. Post-exhibition, the sculptures will go to the people Feeney interviewed. 

“Because I had that budget, I was like- this is the way to talk to queer people, make them something, and just give it to them for free,” says Feeney. 

Feeney is on a paid residency with A4 Sounds. A4 Sounds offer multiple paid residencies a year. Some of their residencies specifically cater for underrepresented groups in society; asylum seekers, those currently unhoused and trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people. 

“I had a little scene of it in my mind,” prior to their residency, Feeney explained. They had an image for Queer Utopia which then became a more expansive project. Now, Feeney would consider it more than an isolated exhibition, “I want to talk to more queer people and give them more things.” 

Pink is the dominating colour of Feeney’s exhibition. “It’s embracing something I used to think was frivolous, and now I’m like there’s nothing wrong with being frivolous.”

“A lot of the time we think of queer struggle, and that is a big component of our lives collectively and part of our experience, but I also wanted to dedicate some space to joy, what is important to you, what do you love about your world.” 

‘Queer Utopia’ is being exhibited until May 30, you can find out more information here

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