Trans Art Is Artist: Fern Denne
Fern is a queer, trans, interdisciplinary artist currently studying Studio Art and Environmental Studies at Beloit College. Most of their work centers around healing trauma and critiquing the systems that nurtured an environment for it to exist – this makes their art both intimately personal and widely relevant. Fern works primarily in oil paint, pen, watercolor, alternative print processes, and photography, sometimes all at once. They’ve participated in shows surrounding themes of Black Lives Matter, intersectional feminism, and environmentalism, and are currently co-creating an artist collective focused on uplifting marginalized voices in the art community.
Fern’s artwork focuses on their queer identity, mental illness, and trauma, and how these relate to a larger context of their environment and community. They find immense healing in nature and honor that in their work. They aim to help people like them feel heard, seen, and understood, by radicalizing the normal. Their use of a childlike, at times surrealist, style helps them digest the “normalness” of big issues surrounding queerness, mental health, and the many forms grief can take. They are also training to become a tattoo artist, as they find mutual healing through tattooing queer people.