Artist Chris Gylee & Aslan

14200 €


ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS is Chris Gylee and Aslan. A Queer performance and art collective who creates work from performance, writing, and constellations of multidisciplinary forms including film, songwriting, publication. It is our passion to explore Queer and disabled life experiences through autoethnography, ethical exploration, science fiction, and a love of the forest. Through our work, we explore the changing interdependent ecologies of our ageing bodies and tell stories that are not commonly told in ways that speak to the body, the mind, and the emotions. A residency at Saari will give us the chance to create time and space to more fully investigate how a ‘Crip-Queer’ approach, with an emphasis on rurality and sustainability in its broadest sense, will transform our work as a performance collective. It will also enable us to do this in a calm and peaceful rural environment and with a community of other artists close by to exchange with and to challenge and deepen our investigation. This residency will enable us to take a radical approach to accessibility by bringing it to the heart of our working processes, thematic focus, and creative methodology. We wish to discover access as a driving force in our work rather than an afterthought or a practical problem to solve. We wish to give space to ways in which our working practices can change and evolve. Access is much more than a theoretical and ethical consideration for ONCE WE WERE ISLANDS. In February 2023, Aslan was diagnosed as autistic. Even though we have been dealing with Aslan’s specific access needs in an informal way for as long as we have been working together, an official diagnosis has convinced us that the time has come for us to stop and take time and space out of our daily routines to examine how disability affects and informs our lives and the way we make work together.