I was inspired by the relationship between being queer and spirituality, however, felt a disconnect within myself to a high power or understanding of what might be beyond me. In order to confront the discomfort that I felt, I explored this uneasiness as part of a practical brief I received as part of my college’s academic requirements. Through the process, I felt catharsis in the deliberate process of painting over each frame, similarly to praying over something, or mediating on something. At the end, I felt a sort of healing and a beginning of introducing myself as a proudly queer person into what had previously felt foreign to me, spirituality. I found that Queer Joy also encapsulated getting closer to oneself, getting to know and dismantle even the uncomfortable parts of oneself to reach happiness and self-acceptance from within. This is what I got out of the process, that joy can also be an internal process of self-discovery.

About the artist:

Thokozile Gumede, born 1996, is a South African queer visual artist based in Cape Town, South Africa. Their work is centred around self-exploration and discovery through collage, paint and ink. They are currently studying towards a BA in Visual Communications at Red and Yellow: Creative School of Business.