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Please note this work contains nudity.
Bath Songs, 2020, .pdf file
Lia Dewey Morgan is a queer creative based in Naarm. Her work embraces her trans body as an incubator for new models of resilience against extreme crisis. Through memetic fragments of tanka, a Japanese form of poetry renowned for its expression of bold, often feminine emotion, Morgan explores how storytelling can be used to respond to trauma and illuminate queer subjectivities. Her work aims to inspire a fresh insight into compassion and vulnerability.
Morgan’s newest work, Bath Songs, focuses on life affirming eroticism, self-care and queer love. The images, a series of photos of the artist’s genitalia, invoke yonic symbology to question pre-conceived understandings of the transfeminine penis. Pairing these visuals with tanka, Morgan pays homage to traditions of shunga, “spring pictures” of Edo-period Japan renowned for prolific print depictions of copulation, as well as the hybrid works of more contemporary poetesses such as Hayashi Amari. Gilded in pulsing magenta gradients paired with close-ups of blossoms, beauty is deployed as a protection spell to welcome an unfamiliar audience to the queer body.