November 2021 to March 2022
Rebekah Frank is a white, queer, gender nonconforming writer and artist based in San Francisco. Craftspace commissioned her to undertake a residency to explore queerness in relation to the expansive field of metalworking and metalsmithing. She devised an online survey to gather perspectives from around the world. She was curious about what it means to be a queer metal artist, how queer-ness and metal-ness overlap and whether it matters. ‘Queer’ defies definition, it could be everything from a marginalized identity, an academic theory and a political stance to a rejection of rigidity. ‘Metals’ begins in a material and expands into disparate processes: a machinist, an engineer, a farrier, an artist blacksmith, a goldsmith, an art jeweller, a sculptor, a photographer. There was also an interest in how the intersections of race, gender, disability, class and sexuality might inform creative journeys and engagement with process and materials.
Questions in the survey included:
- How do you define your queerness? We aren’t here to define who is and isn’t queer. Let us know how you define yourself.
- What are other ways you identify? These can include race, class, immigration status, experience with health conditions or mental health, anything that is part of how you navigate the world.
- What does queer metal mean to you? We don’t have an answer, which is why we are asking you! Do you have a position on the concept of queer metal?
Rebekah received 120 responses from every continent except Antarctica!
The outcomes of the residency include: an Instagram campaign @Queer.art.words and @Craftspace_ during March 2022 featuring a selection of survey respondents; video interviews with eight respondents on our You Tube channel and an essay reflecting on the findings.
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Images: Rebekah Frank. (Photo: Cropped from an image by Lydia Daniller.) Rebekah Frank, steel necklaces.