Rhea Dillon (Visual Arts, 2022)Janus _pause_ leaking fortified leaking enclaves_Theo Christelis

Rhea Dillon

Shortlisted in 2022 for Visual Arts

Interdisciplinary artist Rhea Dillon references queer thought and feminist theory in her examination and abstraction of the ‘rules of representation’, using sculpture, painting, poetry and olfaction as devices to undermine contemporary Western culture. Rhea writes, “Blackness is naturally abstract. So as a Black expressionist, I am a question-er and a trickster.” 

Uchronia et Uchromia (2020) takes the form of an online questionnaire, highlighting the processes and power structures framing the Black experience today. By adopting this framework, ideas of power, control and inequality come to the fore. Atlas’ Duppeee Whoopeee Seat: women should stop cleaning faeces, everyone should clean faeces (2020) places a brown balloon with speckles of bodily oils in the seat of a wheelchair. Referencing Françoise Vergès, Rhea reflects on impositions on black femininity, simultaneously treated as a corporate joke and a societal cushion, while attempting to emancipate Black women’s bodies from objectification. Likewise, tell me some / before you go (2020) sees Rhea question the ability to evade Europatriarchy and what it means to leave duty/community. Using oil, acrylic and pencil on newspapers released in London on the day Meghan Markle & Prince Harry announced they would be leaving the monarchy, she suggests that you must abstract yourself to go on living for yourself and only yourself. 

Video credit: courtesy of the Artist and V.O Curations.