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  • Writer's pictureAshton Blyth

Little Utopias

Recently I've been offered a couple of artist opportunities through the connections I made at Stoke-on-Trent Pride and the Better World Festival.

I've been asked to take part in an upcoming exhibition titled Little Utopias with b-arts, an exhibition taking place within their building and surrounding exterior areas. I had a zoom call with their director-in-residence Andrew Loretto, where I was asked to prep for the following questions:

What was your introduction to the arts/initial spark?

  • Watched my aunt paint, we had a big painting of Warrington that she did in our dining room growing up

  • Watched my grandad paint and make stuff, he carved and painted a farm set for my uncle that was passed down to me

  • Had a making cupboard in the kitchen, always encouraged to explore my creativity

  • Freedom and expression of art made me want to have a career in the arts from a young age - artist, art therapist, art teacher, art lecturer etc.

How would you describe the journey you've been on artistically?

  • My art has helped me understand myself

  • It went from helping me therapeutically with my mental health, to helping me understand being transgender, to helping other people understand gender identity

If you were to choose one or two pieces of work/projects that best sum up you as an artist/your values, what would that/they be?

  • The Progressive Tube Map

  • Felt Right Then, Feels Right Now

What is it you really want to do next or in the future - that maybe you haven't had the chnce to do yet - either solo or in collaboration?

  • Currently working on a much longer animation, Defining Moments of a Trans Experience - first T shot, egg freezing, coming out, prom, dealing with periods, puberty, body dysmorphia and gender dysphoria

  • Haven't had the chance to be involved in putting on a show with a team of artists before, something that I'm really looking forward to

How would that make you feel?

  • Glad to do something new, something different


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