Unscripted Twillingate: Digital Arts Festival | Violet Drake - Unscripted Twillingate: Digital Arts Festival

Violet Drake


“Violet Drake is a white settler disabled queer+trans writer, artist, actor, & activist born and raised in the coastal community of Lawn on the Burin Peninsula. Now based in St. John’s, her multidisciplinary experimental practice has been self taught since youth, writing hybrid poetry and designing mixed media digital illustration since the age of 13. Blending life narrative, land-based photography, self portraiture, performance, and autoethnography, her work emerges from her conceptual framework of trans+corporeal cartographies and existential ecologies. Her work has been exhibited and performed at artist-run centres, galleries, stages, festivals, and classrooms throughout Ktaqmkuk (colonially Newfoundland) including Eastern Edge, St. Michael’s Print Shop, Unscripted Twillingate, LSPU Hall, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, and Memorial University. Co-author of transVersing, she has recent and forthcoming publications locally and nationally in Riddle Fence, Understorey, HELD, Verses, and Home Out of It.”

Artist Statement

From Water in Ecdysis is a mixed media series of visual art emerging from my conceptual framework of trans+corporeal cartographies and existential ecologies. These concepts explore the maps of meaning we make upon and beyond our bodies, and the undeniable dialectic between our environments and ourselves. In From Water, I long to interweave imagery of the human body, the environment, and the nonhuman with narratives of abiogenesis, transness, and queerness. Through this process I aim to rework our understandings of queer and trans embodiment of the present, and reimagine gender and sexual diversity of the past.

In its entirety, From Water is created in Photoshop CC using only one image: a selfie of the artist shot on iPhone SE. Through base PSCC filters, distortion, layering, and collage, many pieces evolve and converge into the next. Formats include triptychs, dyptychs, and solitary designs throughout the full series. Furthermore, some pieces combine visual art with poetics using original typography.

Bore from one singular cellfie, 50 digital prints re-imagine abiogenesis mythologies through the moulting of my trans body. Using digital manipulation I draw upon acts of regeneration among Newfoundland sealife to illustrate queer ecologies of the past, present, and future. From Water begs us to wonder what can be discovered between the withheld geography of this island and the embodied transitions found home here?”