Who isn’t tired of tokenism and other ‘isms between the white walls of commercial and institutional spaces? Why do so many residencies not consider the needs of artists with intersectional identities? How do ‘marginalised’ artists make a living whilst still prioritising our empowerment and connection with others who share our experiences? 

TheySwarm is envisioned as an artist residency for ‘diverse and dispersed’ artists that TextaQueen will peer mentor in their Collingwood shopfront studio. It’ll be for queer and trans, Black, Indigenous, and people of colour with priority to disabled artists. 

TheySwarm’s dream is to find a balance between accessing Art World networks and keeping the ‘by us – for us’ attitude of queer / punk / crip /  DIY / BIPOC community – to create an emotionally, physically, and financially sustainable space for connection and creativity. 

TextaQueen is currently raising funds for the wheelchair accessibility of the space.

Following this, they will coordinate TheySwarm with Indigenous and other ‘diverse’ creatives to

  • set up the physical space and curate the residency program
  • create accessibility and safer spaces guidelines
  • find patrons and sponsors
  • apply for grants
  • set up a website and virtual presence
  • purchase and collect books for a QTI/BIPOC art/book library
  • (run a large scale fundraiser to) complete the wheelchair accessibility of the bathroom and studio fit-out.

If you’re interested in being involved in TheySwarm (whatever your identities) or want to donate to the residency program, please get in touch. 

Sales of Learn Your ACABs help fund TheySwarm.

[ID: TextaQueen framed artworks resting on studio floor with markers strewn on floor.]