Dylan was born and educated in Northampton and lives and works in the town, currently holding a studio at NN. This new body of work comprises the first solo show for the artist in his home town and his largest to date.
Dylan’s practice explores the physical, medical, emotional and social aspects of gender transition, specifically, the frustration felt with inefficient transgender healthcare pathways. His work is hinged on how social constructs affect people, aiming to question and shift these constructs, generating work through social interaction, working with other artists and the public. The exhibition title, A Manipulation of Terms, stems from the inflated truths within many forms of advertising and signage at British seaside towns.
Advertising strategies such as bright neon lights claiming to be the ‘best’ in town, arcades that promise great prizes and sticks of rock that are reminiscent of the heyday of British seaside resorts, are all things that never seem to fully deliver. With this in mind, visitors to the exhibition can sample these delights of the seaside, in an exhibition complete with a games arcade, neon lights and its own rock shop. Dylan’s use of the seaside vernacular to this most central of Midlands town is intended to heighten feelings of displacement and a sense of being lied to.
These ideas of manipulation, miscommunication, and false advertising, relate back to Dylan’s experiences of transition within the UK healthcare system. His works may be seen as both autobiographical in nature as well as representative of the wider transgender community. By displacing aspects of seaside iconography in this way, and re-situating these in the Midlands, the artworks can take on new meaning and become relatable to an even wider public.
As part of the public program, Dylan is hosting the symposium When Art is Not Enough: Activism for the Transgender Community, in order to expand upon the themes of the exhibition and address these in a more direct way. Speaking at this one day event will be Dylan Fox, Chase Ross, Malik Nashad Sharpe and Liv Wynter. The symposium will be held on Tuesday 10 April 2018, at the Guildhall, 1 St Giles Street, Northampton, NN1 1DE, UK.
A selection of books on LGBTQ+ history and queer theory within the arts will be on display in the lead up to the exhibition at Northampton Central Library for two weeks from International Transgender Day of Visibility on 31 March 2018 and well remain part of the Library collections.