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Prize Winners

This page features the individuals who won prizes as part of our Queering the Quarantine project contest. We looked for creative responses that best connected with the project themes. These prize winners were decided by Hannah Ayres, Nick Cherryman, Somak Biswas, and Rajinder Dudra.

Ada Patterson

queer/disrupt gained insight on this piece by reading the abstract, as well as through an interview conducted by Hannah Ayres with Ada.
"On making do, life and love in quarantine, this text is a queer glance at sandcastle building, grieving worlds and lives queered by crisis whilst cherishing the remains. It is punctuated by animated GIFS - tiny scraps of footage, some new, some leftover, all timely and precarious bits of visual debris. I wrote this text between two shorelines of experience; the memories of Gibbes Beach in my native Barbados (where I am currently based) and visits to Quarantine Beach, in Rotterdam, where I was physically situated at the time of writing (April-July 2020)."
This piece was written within the first month or two of the pandemic and Ada was based in the Netherlands at the time. They were working on finishing their Masters and their research focused on pedagogy and its relationship to art with a particular focus on decolonial and queer pedagogies. They were experiencing a crisis moment regarding their own workload as some of what they had planned had to be put on hold due to not wanting to, and not being able to, shift to the haphazard online space. Some of their previous work had been looking at the way we use language and vocabulary to define ourselves and how we sometimes do not feel capable of defining our own identities - yet another crisis. They were also living through global experiences and environmental catastrophes such as Hurricane Dorian and global anti-Blackness. During our interview, they wondered what all of this crisis was doing to our bodies and identities.
When asked about existing between these two geographical spaces, they stated that it was extremely difficult. At the beginning of the lockdown they were speaking to family in both Barbados and the UK who discussed their own fears and anxieties when it came to the pandemic. They couldn't go home but they had never taken for granted the ability to move across the world as crisis had struck during the last hurricane season and they had to sit and watch their friends livestreams and watch the news. Ada stated feeling like their 'mind is already split' and that it has always been this way for them. They talked about how they see themselves as a queer connection across global communities. In the Netherlands, Ada stated that the response had been leisurely and how there had been no hard lockdown in comparison to Barbados who had handled the first wave well. Ada talked about Barbados acting in lines with 'hurricane logic' meaning that they didn't know what was coming and so prepared for the worst. As I spoke to Ada it was clear that the Netherlands response felt insensitive and foolish in comparison and that it almost felt as the Netherlands thought they knew better than something they didn't understand. Between December 2020-January 2021, the situation escalated in Barbados, most likely due to a tourist that broke quarantine. Having gone through an escalation of the pandemic in the Netherlands, Ada worried about how this would unfold, especially with on a small island with a small population. This understanding of the escalation process did not help Ada, they expected the deaths, grief, lockdown etc. but this did not protect them. It instead felt more bitter to feel this one, particularly as the fault lay with irresponsible tourists. In their first lockdown experience they felt a sense of hope amidst all the grief, a feeling that "change is in the air" but this feeling started to diminish as time went on. The hope lies in what could be and the capacity for change that comes with crisis - it doesn't have to be this way. We want not just to survive but also to thrive.
In the south of Rotterdam there was a harbour, shipping containers and an industrial park - here is where Quarantine beach lay. This beach used to be a place where people returning from 'tropical' places used to be quarantined. As they put it, during this difficult time they felt they 'had no practice'. Building sandcastles was something they had done since they were younger and at Quarantine Beach, the sand felt closer to Barbados sand than Rotterdam. They saw it as a meditative mindful practice, a way of 'training yourself to live with loss' without defaulting or surrendering to it. They stopped going as summer approached as the space became too loud and busy and so these sandcastles were often built when Ada was wrapped up in a winter coat. Using a camera to capture this process helped Ada to handle the loss of losing the moment and this fragment of time.
GIFS never featured heavily in Ada's work previously but they used to make glitchy video rip GIFS for fun. They weren't originally sure why they used them but came up with some possible reasons. The first is that the still image represents 'a dead moment', it partially loses the life and movement present at the time of taking the image. They also spoke about the sharing of videos of police brutality going on during the pandemic - "Black death on loop" - and how GIFS could be seen as a way of keeping life going, sustaining a moment for just a little longer.
This text is one piece of a whole - it is just one fragment. It acted as a way of thinking through the thick grief that persisted throughout the quarantine - it gave processing time.

From Quarantine Beach, with Love

A .GIF Story

I’m embarrassed, to say the least. My body has outrun my spirit and I am not the child I remember, a child feigning patience with their sandcastle. I’m embarrassed when I go to the beach to build sandcastles because they stare


they can’t see me for what I feel, for whom I feel to be. I go there when I can because it keeps me sane; putting my mind to it, shelving the isolation and its demons—

I’m not ready to name them here;

that would award them a substance better dedicated to the sand, the tide and its many gifts of debris.


The practice of building sandcastles is a precarious one, in that you can only really count on its precarity.

Don’t build a sandcastle if you want things to last. Don’t build a sandcastle if you can’t afford to lose, if you can’t afford to grieve.


When the night comes, so does the tide. And when the night comes, so do the crabs.


They outnumber the tourists and they don’t complain when the shore gets eaten up. I don’t know if sandcastles left ashore are built on crab tunnels. I don’t know if crabs hop the fence, trespassing these delicate remains. I don’t know if crabs live in the ruins. I don’t know if crabs mate in the ruins. I don’t know if crabs die in the ruins. I don’t know because the sea doesn’t tell me and, out of respect, I would never dare to ask. I don’t question the sea’s behaviour because it is unconditionally generous. Its capability is known, from splash to storm. I know the crabs come with the night because I’ve seen them and they’ve seen me. The sea tries to hide this fact just as it hides the spoils of the day.


When day returns to the beach, I try too. I try because I’m curious of the remains. I try because there’s something to be said about visiting the remains of things that were never meant to survive. I try because it helps me to figure loss and grief into my life in ways that are both nurturing and reparative.


A helpless commitment to memory, my archive of sandcastles boasts a material inventory of casuarina castoffs, sea-glass, shell fragments, urchin spikes, driftwood, palm husk, twigs of nameless varieties, Shak-Shak, coconut shell crescents, sea-grape leaves, mahogany pods, seaweed, wet and dry sands, grit from the shoreline, dead corals, concrete refuse and—I can’t remember the rest.


None survive in the ways I leave them.

But don’t worry.


This is the game we play; I build with the day, the sea builds with the night.


The night and sea enjoy an elegance with sand I can neither know nor envy. To see what the night and sea have left behind, to see what they have made, I return with the day. The silhouette of each castle is melted to a soft bump of sand. The heavier concrete and corals protrude from the surface like ancient ruins while all the foliage and shells are nowhere to be seen. I can’t ever know what I am inheriting with the day; I can only know that it takes the shape of loss while leaving something else in its place. If melancholia means to grieve what I can’t know I have lost, then what does it mean to grieve an unknowable inheritance? If I can indeed mourn the known loss of a sandcastle, what is to be done with the unknowable inheritance of its remains?


You cannot bury or entomb a sandcastle; you can only destroy it further. Or, to put it differently, you cannot restore a sandcastle; you can only build, from its remains, anew.


I’m embarrassed to say I am grieving.


When the responsibilities and policies of social distancing came to be, I awoke with the day to a practice in shambles. And I keep reawakening to that day, trying to make sense of dead corals, disappearing leaves and soft melts of sand. The story I kept telling myself of my practice—a practice of complicated comings-together, joys and intimacies—had already come undone in front of me and I didn’t—I still don’t really—know what to do. Josh Gabert-Doyon reads me with a mirror when speaking of this particular rupture, “the old world before the disease becomes irretrievable […] it seems hard to believe we’ll be able to make it through without abandoning some of our old selves.” It’s difficult not to take offence when a well-said, too real and too relatable truth clocks you so viscerally; perhaps being read to filth still also means being seen.


I’m embarrassed to say I am grieving what felt like a fixed and stable, yet already always momentary, form of practice I didn’t anticipate losing. I felt like the tiniest queer in the world and my practice felt like a sandcastle left overnight. For a moment—and perhaps still even now—this unanticipated inheritance of its remains has stayed illegible, irreparable and unforgivable.

I’m embarrassed to wake to a kanga now too old for this day and these days. Its face bears a since naïve image of two figures kissing in profile, their hurricane eyes, dead in stasis; stares eclipsed in butterflied horror. Its name?



Imagining this kanga after Dorian and after the ongoing queering of the climate felt across different trembling frontlines of the world, I had hoped to attend to those strange unlikely pockets of intimacy, kinship, love, warmth, tenderness, empathy, and so on, springing up almost magically after another crisis-oriented queering of our worlds.


An image, like this, of intimate contact harnessed after crisis, seems so tricky and sticky given our present responsibilities and duties of social distancing. I don't know what to make of it in this light. The metaphor collapses and, again, illegible silences find me in new ways.


These conditions of distance remind me of another world; my once world of growing up queer in Barbados, my once world of sandcastles built, of sandcastles left to the mercies of unanticipated presents. Though certainly not the same yet not altogether separate, to be queer in anti-queer spacetime is to be both cautious of and estranged from the joys of social intimacy. Your queer friendship or your love or your sex would have to be quiet and unseen, lest the sight of it mark you for death or exile. So, you kept your love hidden, untouched, unmarked, and you learned to be close in other marooned ways.


With this in mind, to be queered might be to touch and be touched dangerously, to be put out of touch or for touch to be out of the question. I’m surprised—and therefore, embarrassed—to find myself back in this place and time, where intimacy can only be safely harboured through digital screens and windows. My local supermarket has since raised plastic barriers for its checkout staff and so the screen persists in and out of home. For some queered folk, the screen is bittersweet. At times, it is a magic portal, taking you elsewhere and otherwise; the first point of access to your not-so-local community, your distant love, your digital cruise. And at other times, it is a wall that strands you; a mocking horizon that keeps you out of touch and out of time. From intimacy to isolation, it is a pendulum at its cruellest, with queer life dangled at its mercy. At its kindest, it is a way home.

I’m embarrassed to have momentarily forgotten the kindness of screens and the warmth of those faces sat behind them. And I’m embarrassed to have also forgotten where driftwood comes from.


Where does driftwood come from?


I have no idea but I do know that it ends up on shorelines when building sandcastles. Driftwood and other flotsam have come to feel like unlikely gifts, unlikely tools, unlikely food, offered up or, more accurately, spat out by an indifferent horizon. When I’m embarrassed, forgetting where driftwood comes from, it is to say I’m embarrassed because I’ve also forgotten the generosity of horizons. Whether building sandcastles and staring out to sea, or staring into screens for warmth and company, what is most nurturing and sustaining, it seems, is the generous arrival and reunion of detritus. Finding the right—and that isn’t to say “perfect”—piece of driftwood for a sandcastle always begs the question, “How could you have been thrown away? You’re everything I ever needed.” And I’m again embarrassed to find myself asking that same question about the loveliest of friends; long since queered, long since set adrift on those troubled waters only we could call “home”. Communities of castoffs, castaways, dejected things and people; we have a habit of drifting together and, more than that, we make a habit of keeping each other afloat.

Tiny queers with not-so-tiny love have been teaching me, again and always, how to be close otherwise. And right now, learning to be close otherwise means, as Anne Boyer reminds me, “to see the negative space as clearly as the positive, to know what we don't do is also brilliant and full of love.” Where it had once been a shelter in the isolation of anti-queer spacetime, the screen opens up again with faerie heart circles, digital dance parties and other little gestures to hold many a sad queer from falling apart.


I’m embarrassed to have woken to what looked like a shoreline devastated; stripped of all practice and possibilities for intimacy. I hadn’t even taken the time to properly look, to see that, for the most part, it was still all right there, albeit in tiny, tiny pieces. Even if it’s disoriented, cast out of reach, forgotten its shape or loses its frills to the night, a practice always remains, even if only in remains. For every tiny remnant and speck of sand can build a world of difference. Each livestreamed poetry reading, each smiling webcam, each meal shared with a lover, each phone call with faraway friends or family, each delicate connection and tiny gesture can be, as Audre Lorde assures me, a discreet bit of “ammunition in my arsenal against despair.”

Daniel Fountain

queer/disrupt gained insight on this piece by reading the abstract, as well as through an interview conducted by Hannah Ayres with Daniel.
Daniel is a queer artist and academic - at the time of submission they were undertaking a PhD in Loughborough University. Their research works to explore the intersection between craft and queer identity in contemporary art practice. Daniel's artistic practice centres around working with found objects, mostly textiles, and they see a particular affinity between their own queer identities and discarded objects that have been unloved, discarded, and refused. Many of the sculptures also take on abject forms and associations with queer sexual cultures which are often perceived as 'dirty' by heteronormative society. This process became more difficult in lockdown as they had no access to the studio and there was the issue that found objects could be contaminated and so Daniel had to reuse other projects, as well working with scraps of material left over. Daniel also works in textiles to exploit its status as something 'low', 'amateur' and 'feminine', whilst also challenging notions of domesticity. The slow process of stitching also works as a therapeutic exercise. Stitching works as a reparative function, both in actual practice and as a metaphor. Daniel stated that their work process tends to be quite conceptual and is underpinned with lots of research. Once this has taken place, the making of the work is quick and instinctive; it offers Daniel the chance to zone out for a little a while.
The images submitted document the series STUFFED (2020). The title plays with language as it refers to the colloquial term for fucking, as well as the material used within the project - found cushion stuffing. This series was made in the space of a week and Daniel created these works in lockdown as a rumination on the need for connectivity, companionship, and community during times of self-isolation and social distancing. Daniel lives alone and so lockdown had significance effects on their mental health. These cushion-like soft sculptures because somewhat of a crafted community and queer kind to support them during this tumultuous time. The pieces reflect notions of 'skin hunger' - our biological need for human connection. Akin to transitional objects, they become a form of 'security blanket' and can be interacted with, played with, or cuddled.
You can find Daniel's website here.

This image shows 4 different art peices, photographed three times each in different angles and with closeups. The first piece depicts what looks like a pillow bound by bondage harnesses, the pillow is white with small blue flowers. The second peice looks to be a pillow cover that has been decorated with runched peices of fabric that all tie together at a central point to the create the effect designed to mimic the visage of an asshole, the closeup shows one of these with small bits of hair around it. The third peice also mimics a butt, a pillow maded from pink fabric, shaped in a sideways 8 with a red hole at the centre surronded by drawn on hairs. Two gloves are sewn to either side to mimic hands and a trail of cotton wool spills out of the red hole at the centre. The fourth peice is another pillow with similar hand like effects crested through the use of gloves, the hands look like they are clasped together. Alternate images show the hand cuddled around an human body, mimicking a hug.

Dante Solomon

queer/disrupt gained insight on this piece by reading the abstract, as well as through an interview conducted by Hannah Ayres with Dante.
"...most of the added pictures are photographs I took myself, of myself and my things. Because, I needed to be present in some way in this work. Because it's not just an outside commentary on the queer community in the pandemics, it's my own subjective vision of it, and also of myself within it. Because it's also about my snot, about my blood, about my cum. Because it's about my guilt."
Dante is a gay man in his 20s from Paris and at the time of submission was studying for a masters in bioengineering. In our interview, he spoke about his relationship to queer and how he didn't feel necessarily in tune with it. He is trying to expand this knowledge and do more research when he is able.
"If I'm not afraid of getting AIDS, why should I be afraid of COVID" - the central text of this piece reads. When Dante heard someone say this during the summer of 2020, he was shocked. He originally felt this a really strange way to compare the two pandemics and felt that there should have been a fear present. This rhetorical question pointed out how similar these two pandemics are, but also how queer people's experience with HIV is deeply influencing their relationship with other diseases and their own health. Despite the death toll from HIV, some people developed a sort of desire for the virus, leading to the culture of bug chasing and gift giving. Desires of live were intertwined with desires of death. In a way, this is what is also happening with COVID-19 as we all want to live life to the fullest but there are sanitary measures that are necessary to preserve life, just like condoms and PrEP. This statement was used as a justification for breaking the lockdown rules for random hook-ups. Dante spoke about understanding lust, wanting to live, and not just surviving. He also understands not caring that you are endangering your own health. What he cannot understand is the absence of guilt when it comes to the possibility of infecting others. He wishes they felt guilt because he does. He feels guilty for not respecting social distancing. He lived with his parents, but his own desires for freedom gave him COVID and he realises the danger he put his family in.
Dante has been interested for a while in the painting "Vanitas" by painter Jan Sanders van Hemessen. He saw the painting in real life and felt an attraction to it; as well as liking the imagery generally, Dante felt this piece perfectly represents queer vanity, which is why he used it as the base for this work. He wanted it to be seen as a double reflection of this vanity, diffracted by the central statement. In the piece, he plays with symmetry and antisymmetry, since for Dante, these are central notions when it comes to infecting others, and the underlying responsibilities and guilt. The mirrors reminded Dante of a cell phone and he drew connections between the way both allow us to perceive ourselves. This work is very personal and graphic, it contains a number of different images such as cum stains, dildos etc. To contextualize the painting into both the COVID and AIDs pandemics, he complemented it using symbols of each, but also queer symbols. The masks have a double purpose, as they reflect the idea of anonymity, which is constantly present in the queer community, as well as the masks used throughout the pandemic. Dante talked about the number of times he saw a picture of someone's genitals before their face, and so integrated one of these anonymous "dick pics" into the piece. The penis and dildo represent the two options available during both COVID and AIDs - sexual encounter with others or masturbation. They included blood, snot and cum as the "holy trinity of bodily fluids". The image of the moon points to the night and the movement to and from hook-ups.
Dante felt a lot of contradictions in their relationship towards the pandemic, particularly with regards to sexual relations. There was the danger of it juxtaposed with the positive and pleasurable nature of consensual sex. The paranoia and uneasiness connecting with the annoyance at having to take care being offset by the knowledge that you also have a responsibility to keep others safe. Dante expressed throughout that the quote at the centre of the piece showcased to them the lack of care some queer people approached the pandemic with and reflected that although he had made his own mistakes, he felt deeply guilty about this and stated that people should care about other people's health over their own. How do we hold others accountable when people approach the pandemic differently and there is disagreement over which rules to follow. This is a difficult issue to tackle, and this piece represents some of the contradictions, difficulties and emotions present in queer responses to the pandemic.

This image uses an almost biblical image as a base, michael diangelo figures facing each other. in the centre text writes 'if I am not afraid of AIDs, why should I be afraid of Covid?' The figures on either side have their faces replaced with a procelain mask on one side and on the other, two surgical masks. Hidden collaged aspects are found throughout the peice, an image of a skull, the shape of a dildo, a used tissue in the hand of one of the figures and it is very easy to miss the depth and detail

Holly Zwalf

queer/disrupt gained insight on this piece by reading the abstract, as well as through an interview conducted by Hannah Ayres with Holly.
This piece was originally published in Archer Magazine #15 (2021) in Australia.
Holly Zwalf is a queer solo parent by choice and she had her first child on her own. She has done research in queer theory and creative writing and is the coordinator of Rainbow Families Queensland. She also has produced podcasts as well as academic creative writing.
In February 2020, Holly contracted COVID-19 and passed the virus onto her partner, a trans man with cystic fibrosis who was nine months pregnant. Holly and her partner were some of the earliest cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and according to the law at the time, they were placed into mandatory isolation in hospital with their four-year-olds, and they were not allowed to leave their rooms, even to visit each other. Her partner gave birth during this time in hospital and they made medical history as the first COVID-positive person to give birth outside of China. This was also the first documented non-caesarean COVID birth in the world.
Holly describes this experience as traumatic and the shockwaves were still being felt when I spoke to Holly, a year after she caught COVID. You can read more Holly's work on the stigma felt post-COVID here but she described it to me as a double quarantine and a contagion that never ended. She stated that she lives in a small country town where she already felt out of place, but there was a second wave of otherness that came from catching COVID early on. She was proud and amazing about the circumstances her partner gave birth under and so spoke about it but was shocked to see people recoil, with even the GP acting in a similar fashion. After this experience, Holly dealt with a lot of trauma and difficulties and chose to write the piece because she was really proud of the medical history made.

I tap on the wall and my love taps back. Like a heartbeat, like my skittish heart: so scared that I will lose him. I could text but I beat out my Morse-code message instead: I’m sorry. I love you. I’m sorry.  


Flesh and bone against plasterboard. I withdraw my fingers and wait. My phone lights up: 

he’s angry he can’t see you. better stop. 

He, his child; trapped on the other side of the wall with my love, and another nearly ready to be born inside him. On my side of the wall my child dreams. I brush my teeth, sceptical of sleep in the half-light never-night of this room. This room which I am legally required to remain in, as I will be arrested if I attempt to leave, even if just to flick the light switch off on the wall outside the door. But surprisingly I sleep better just knowing my love is there, on the other side of my wall. 

I am the 15th in Queensland. My partner is the 16th. I catch it somewhere between the UK and home. I thought I’d done the heroic thing. A missed funeral, an emergency flight, determined to get back before the birth. Heroic almost rhymes with COVID. Coming home, which is how my partner catches it: coming hard against the kitchen cupboards at home, while sleep blankets the bunkbeds in the neighbouring room. We do our best to forget the hard lump between us: hard to be a boy with such a round hard belly, but he is still hard for me. 

He finds it hard to breathe at the best of times, and this is definitely the worst. My love has cystic fibrosis and now he has this; he was born with shit lungs but I’ve made them much worse. The doctors are scared he will die. So am I. When the ambulance is sent to collect me and my child earlier that night, to deliver us to our negative-pressure prison, I text my sister: maybe this is where I lose him. And I do. For nine long days we are held in separate rooms, while his kid quickly loses faith in the world and mine descends into endless screen time. Now is not the time to police these things, but the inert electrical hypnosis slowly gets under your skin like the grit and shame of a week-long dirty come-down. From separate rooms we hold teleconferences with medical professionals we never meet face to face. This is to be the first COVID birth outside of China, and the first non-caesarean birth to COVID-positive parents in the world, so we are making waves in the hospital that are breaking far beyond our four small walls. My love and I text, we call, we tap through the wall. His child screams for hours on end, and at the end, not that it ever really ends, I hear my love cry. I go still and cold inside like a chameleon making peace with the aircon. 

Every day is a battle to get the staff to see us as people and not just as a virus. Every day is a battle to remind them we have rights. The inconsistent rules have consistently destroyed us: one child is so broken he wants to disappear, the other already has. We adults know they are one and the same. At the birth I’m not allowed to pull my mask down and kiss my partner as he sweats and groans his way through the labour, and when the baby is born I am told to wear gloves as I guide him from between my partner’s legs and up onto his chest. For the last six days every touch has been muffled by gloves, and I need to feel the baby’s head, the hair, the blood, the warmth. So I refuse, and then worry that I will kill him with my disease. But I need to feel something alive. 

The midwives wear masks as they weigh and check and swab. My partner wears a mask to chestfeed, change a nappy, cuddle. My 4-year-old wears a mask to hold the baby. I wear a mask to hold my love. The people who nervously bring our food, who reluctantly clean our rooms, all of them wear masks. For his first week alive the baby is surrounded by strange ducks with human eyes and double-padded paper bills. He is yet to see a smile. 

Our family falls apart. The kids don’t understand why they can’t leave, why they can’t go home, why they get woken up all through the night to be hurt. The adults don’t know how to make sense of it either. The baby is the only one who is ok. When we are eventually released we fall apart even more, and have to move to separate houses to finish our quarantine. 

We are both still positive but we are not allowed to visit each other. We text, like most modern lovers these days. My partner sends photos and videos of the baby and I watch him get bigger through the screen. There’s not much to see, but I ask for a video of him sleeping. A video of him feeding. A photo of his dirty nappy. I am missing out on so much, even the shit. 

Our quarantine ends, but the distance doesn’t. We stay well away from each other, far further than the regulated 1.5 metres apart. We stay 1.5 hours drive apart, a quarter of a tank each way, a full day’s trip with a small child. The virus is over, but the trauma isn’t; we have all learned our lesson the hard way. So we continue to stay away, the same way that people in our small regional town stay away from us on the street, the same way that parents at our kindy, and workmen with unfinished jobs, and even the GPs at the local clinic pull away in fear. I have a box of masks from our discharge from hospital that go unused. I don’t know if we will ever be close enough again to need them. 

Seren Thomas

queer/disrupt gained insight on this piece by reading the abstract, as well as through an interview conducted by Hannah Ayres with Seren.
Seren is a PhD researcher at Manchester working on Welsh language revival. Like many people, Seren struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. They felt isolated from their community, their dysphoria worsened, and they worried and stressed a lot. They found the change to the online space difficult and felt dysphoric having not outed themselves at their old job. One day in spring 2020, just by coincidence, Seren began to doodle throughout a Zoom meeting. They found that the movement of their hand across the page caused their thoughts to settle, and they felt calm for the first time in weeks. They felt that this process of doodling was therapeutic and brought them into a particular headspace. Since then, whenever their "brain starts to shout so loud that I can't hear myself", they pick up a pen and begin to draw the outline of a Flatboy. This term plays off of jokes about top surgery and this was on Seren's mind a lot as they were conceiving of how they might change.
Seren's art centres trans bodies, faces, and emotions - especially joy, hope, and wonder. They began by drawing people who had had top surgery, depicting these flatboys as standing tall, topless, and proud to show off their scars. Seren has been waiting to get their top surgery for years, a goal that felt further impeded by the pandemic, and they felt it therapeutic to draw what could someday be them, and that reflected people they love. Seren has since progressed to make art reflecting a variety of trans bodies and souls. Trans bodies are so often see as a sight of pain and wrongness, but they want to portray them as something whole and full of joy. Trans people have particularly struggled during the pandemic and they wanted to be able to give something back to them.
Creating this art has transformed Seren's quarantine experience. They find the process of bringing a painting to life almost addictive, tending to finish around eight pieces a week. Their art has enabled them and the viewer to escape the current world to a more magical and joyful one. They can now imagine a future filled with trans love and hope. Seren stated that it is worth typing in #transart on Instagram as it is difficult to build an audience for this content and it is really interesting to see trans individuals make sense of their own bodies and dysphoria through art.

The image shows 7 pictures drawn in a distinct line drawing style that highlights the transness of the depicted bodies. Each body has top surgery scars on their chest and they depict trans intimacy and desire. The first shows one figure laying with their head in the lap of another, both are naked and looked over by the moon. The next is a fully coloured drawing of a trans body, hands clasped together and slightly bent over, it is idifficult to tell if this is supposed to be interpreted as a prayer or not. the third image depicts two individuals stood together, one of them has writing on their arm that reads 'T 4 T'. The fourth image shows a trans body seated, eyes closed and smiling in a blissful almost meditative state. The fifth shows a figure who seems angry, hands in the air,  text read 'my brain is so loud'. The sixth image is done on black paper and shows an outlined figure with the word 'moonlight' written over their head. The final image shows two trans bodies with arms wrapped around each other surrounded by an aura of yellow orange and red.