New exhibition at Big Shop Friday in Milton Keynes opens at the end of the month

    Image: Dylan Fox​, Navigating the Handshake, ​ 2020, new media projection, dimensions variable

    As part of The Elephant Room project funded by MK Community Foundation, Big Shop Friday are excited to announce a new exhibition of works by artist Dylan Fox opening on 29th August.

    The Elephant Room is an ongoing project addressing areas of diversity and inclusion within the arts and creative industries. By commissioning artists from different diversity groups the aim is for people to see themselves represented within the arts and creative industries. Across four editions, The Elephant Room aims to get people within the art world, both audiences and those working in the arts, to think about gender, race, disability and sexuality as areas that remain persistent concerns that require action. 

    This first edition of The Elephant Room looks at ‘Gender’ while also challenging heterocentrism — a focus on heterosexual issues – and is the first in the four instalments of the project. The inaugural Elephant Room presents a new exhibition by Dylan Fox, a queer transgender visual artist working directly with publics through commissions with arts organisations and collaborations with creatives.

    Dylan Fox’s practice examines the various barriers the transgender community faces. More specifically he explores the injustice of inefficient healthcare pathways in the UK, bias in media representation and by extension, wider societal views.

    Join the online launch of the Elephant Room with Dylan Fox on the 28 August. A conversation will be hosted between the artist Dylan Fox and proud non-binary instagrammer Elli Francis discussing the exhibition, the influences behind the work, and all things gender related. 

    Exhibition  

    The exhibition will feature works which confront negative portrayals of the trans-experience within the media as well as challenging social norms when portraying gender. ​If Only It Were That Easy, a lightbox and text piece,​ is derived from the feeling of being overwhelmed by the constant barrage and seemingly never-ending slur towards transgender people, whereas Pressed a series of digital print and foil works highlight the absurdity of media misrepresentation.  

    Other works including Letterboards ​directly portray a collective voice from the transgender community and their experience, derived from interview questions shared with our audience. The exhibition will be accompanied with a series of workshops, details TBA. 
     
    The parallels between our current shared experiences during the global pandemic, and the personal experiences of the artist Dylan Fox during his ongoing gender transition, are numerous. Feelings of isolation, worries about navigating spaces, and issues with accessing care are common amongst transgender people. These have worsened recently not just because of Covid-19 but also by the suggestion that the much needed reforms for the 2004 Gender Recognition Act might be scrapped. These concerns play out, in various ways, in new works by the artist made during the 2020 Coronavirus Lockdown, displayed alongside a selection of pre-existing works – ​ Stop The Press​ is a guide for taking action against negative media outlets and Reader Board III ​which protests out-dated social norms in a format recognisable as a form of advertising.

    This exhibition has been co-curated by Big Shop Friday and Billy Hawes, for The Elephant Room, and is funded by Milton Keynes Community Foundation. 

    29 August – 26 September 2020

    Wednesday to Friday 10am–5pm

    Saturdays 12–4pm

    Preview 28th August (Booking essential) 

    Further details and how to book can be found here.

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