Based on the ‘Protect and Survive’ series on civil defence produced by the British government during the late 1970s and early 1980s that was intended to inform the British public on how to survive a nuclear attack, ‘Inner Refuge’ (2019) queers the advice given on how to build a shelter within a home to protect the occupants from fallout.
Thinking through sewing, ‘Inner Refuge’ explores the concept of fallout, rather than from a nuclear attack it focuses on the oncoming fallout from coming out as a LGBT+ person. For Queer people, coming out can be traumatic and can often put their safety at risk. As a young queer person, the artist found safety in her bedroom. Which then became a space that she shared with her partner that reinforces the importance of community in solidarity against homophobic fallout.
The medium of the work comes from cultural references of baby blankets, for a ‘Baby Dyke’ we often have a whole other language and history to learn. We must very quickly develop skills of protection and survival to exist in a world that isn’t built for LGBT+ people.