- Adam Myatt
Beck Gilmer-Osborne is a person of lists: a self-identified dyke/fag/queer/feminist/non-binary trans* activist and a multidisciplinary artist working in video, performance, sculpture, installation, printed matter, photography and collaborative public events.
Their recent show, I Feel Good, marks their graduation exhibition from NSCAD University where they completed a typical NSCAD style turn around from painter and drawer to multidisciplinary artist. The deeply personal exhibition dealt with Gilmer-Osborne's trans* identity focalized through conversations with their brother, a performative video work and sculptural would-be relics of failed childhood hockey attempts. "It's a physical manifestation of a conversation, in a particular setting, dealing with notions of home and returning, recognition and evolving. It's very vulnerable territory for me to be in." A characteristically performative video work depicts the artist taping hockey skates, their breasts and a hockey stick. "Our parents were amazing hockey players we were terrible skaters, stick handlers and team players. I certainly internalized failures, but in a productive way," says Gilmer-Osborne. "I subvert the masculinity and femininity that I grew up in." Retired hockey jerseys hung on the wall inscribed "Bender." It's that sort of subtle dry humour mixed with the familiar and raw conversation between the siblings that makes Gilmer-Osborne's work compelling and engaging.
Although Gilmer-Osborne says their main audience is the queer community, the work still resonates with a wide audience. "All of our stories are different, and it's important that the media reflects the multiplicities of trans* identities." Their practice reflects a broad approach to representing trans* identities from video performances resembling early conceptual art video to community rallying and logo/poster design for local queer community groups. The scope of Gilmer-Osborne's approaches and interests reflect the complexities of personal identity.
Their post-NSCAD plans include finding a job, applying to residencies while staying in Halifax. "I wanna keep making work," says Gilmer-Osborne. "I plan on staying here because I have a really strong activist and trans*/queer community. I don't plan on moving to far away anytime soon. We'll see what I can do here, I'll just keep making work."
View more work here