Fox’s practice explores the physical, medical, emotional and social aspects of gender transition; specifi- cally the frustration felt with inefcient transgender healthcare pathways. His work is hinged on how social constructs efect people, aiming to question and shift these by generating work through social interaction, working with other artists and the public.
Rituals of Tourism is based on Fox’s early childhood memories of visiting the seaside; exploring on the beach, racing to get candyfloss, saving room for fish and chips, and finding a suitable postcard to send home. As an adult, these activities have become rituals. They are important steps in ensuring a trip to the seaside lives up to expectations. He has turned these rituals into a series of new works, each addressing some of his more recent experiences of gender transition, playing with the balance between these formative memories and the much harsher reality of living as a transgender adult. Many of these works also highlight how these realities afect the wider transgender community, using the exhibition as a platform to voice these problems.
In his gallery installation, Tourist Information Centre, visitors can grab a tour guide and explore the wider exhibition (around Watchet). At these locations in town are new participatory works such as Beermats, Postcard Stand and Deckchairs, which can be experienced throughout the exhibition. Further satellite works will also be on show, see gallery for details
Contains Art CIC was established as a social enterprise in 2012 in an isolated, rural, deprived part of Somerset. West Somerset has the lowest social mobility in the whole of England, and Watchet, where we are based, is the most deprived ward in the district. We firmly believe art has a vital role in changing that.
Contains Art was founded in this context, on the firm belief that who you are, what you have, and where you live, should not restrict your opportunities to see, take part in, and create some of the best art in the world. This matters because art is a powerful force of change—it fires imaginations, challenges perceptions, creates connections, builds communities and makes people, especially young people, believe that they can do anything. The establishment of Contains Art by the local community responded to an almost complete lack of opportunities for community, families, and young people to access and engage with high quality art in what is a notable cold-spot in terms of cultural offer—con- strained by distance and cost. Our ambition is to fill this gap with maximum impact.
Contains Art has a dual role—to meet the needs of our community and to pursue artistic ambition. To do this we deliver a diverse and exciting programme of exhibitions and events that bring extraordi- nary practice to this small isolated part of the country. Our programming reflects a core focus on work that is accessible but still amazing.
On top of our exhibition programme, we run regular community events and workshops that are free to attend, and many community projects. Our studios do not have regular opening hours, but studio holders welcome vistors to come in and take an interest in their work.
Contains Art is now the lead cultural tenant in a wider and very significant community-led regenera- tion project in Watchet. In 2019, assuming everything goes to plan, our gallery will be scaled-up and expanded, in size and ambition, bringing the highest-quality artwork to a local audience who would otherwise never get such a chance.
This exhibition is in association with Renée Pfister Art & Gallery Consultancy. www.reneepfister-consultancy.com