Niamh Cody is a Meath based visual artist who constructs installations that implicate both textile and sculpture. Her installation navigates the multi-faceted and sometimes complex experiences within queer living. There is a shared understanding amongst queer people of the importance of bodily autonomy, as a form of reclaiming queer identity within a heteronormative society. Cody’s perspective of queerness comes from an inherent sense of rebellion through the grotesque. By drawing upon the narrative association of the tapestry and implicating their own lived experiences, Cody interrogates the struggle of the gender binary. They play with juxtaposing the tribulations that coincides with queer existence with the soft and playful material of wool to portray their own perspective of the world.
AntiBodies is a journey that navigates the delicate subjects within the queer experience. The installation is made up of woven and tufted pictorial textile works and sculptures that use steel armatures.
AntiBodies draws upon the conceptual framework of the Abject. The abject is often used to describe bodies and things that are found repulsive or disgusting. To preserve oneself, historically queer people have been forced to cast out their identity for fear of labels of abjection, the work seeks to act as a reclamation of the abjected queer body.
This installation combines tufted fabric configurations of troubled bodies with noisy colour palettes and steel sculptures. The soft and vibrant matter of the wool, with the dark undertones of the imagery portray the lived experiences of the world from a queer perspective. A steel body sits amongst the space, with soft globular sculptures that emphasise the areas on the body that commonly undergo medical transition. The steel sculptures act as a foil to the softness of the wool. Steel alloy is used in medical practices in aiding gender transition and the steel refers to the role of the abject within the work and this is emphasised by employing steel meat hooks to suspend the tapestry work.
The space is populated with soft sculptures that take upon an indiscernible form. Crafted with both fleece and tufted wool, both very playful material within craft that are disrupted by their anomalous configuration. Creating forms that hold possibilities to take shape, transform and create identity. Simultaneously evoking a sense of otherness. Tapping into our collective consciousness and the universal experience of feeling othered. These sculptures play the possibility of expanding the self beyond the physical. Total disbandment of the body, as a wishful solution to the struggle of the gender binary.