Who is Teague Leigh?
I am a late 40’s Irish descent, queer, disabled, trans man who finds joy in nature, art, family, and community (and maybe in that order?). I am also the proud creative of the multimedia series, The Reclamation of Terra.
What would you do differently from what you do now?
Stress less and sleep more. After ten years of acquiring my disabilities, I’m still getting used to not being able to do all the things.
Who inspires you and why?
Artistically, the wonderfully colourful world of The Huxleys, and the collage genius that is Peter Waples-Crowe is inspirational both from an idea and a technique perspective.
Closer to home, my Nan, who has passed, is a constant inspiration of strength. She left the troubles of Northern Ireland in 1964 with her three children, left an alcoholic, abusive husband years later, and lived a so much mischievous life along the way.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I hope to make a difference in the world with my art. Not only in bringing community together to reverse climate devastation, but hopefully be an inspiration for autistic children and teens and show them that our differences are a strength.
Favourite holiday destination and why?
Wilsons Promontory (Yiruk) is a local favourite close to Naarm, on the lands of the Boon Wurrung, Bunurong and Gunaikurnai peoples because of the diversity of country in such a small area. It is a treasure to photograph.
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
My friends and I are mainly park sitters and sun dwellers; however, I do like taking them to one of the four Zoos Victoria parks. Zoos Victoria play a vital role in the conservation and reintroduction of some of our most threatened species.
What are you currently reading?
Since acquiring my cognitive disability, I don’t read much as my comprehension has suffered drastically. However, short stories are great brain enhancers and so I’ve just read the beautifully illustrated anthology Everything Under the Moon: Fairy Tales in a Queerer Light, edited by Michael Earp.
What are you currently listening to?
Everything empowering. I created a Spotify playlist whilst creating my Terra series full of wonderful LGBTQIA+SB humans: www.spotify.com
Nature! Whether it be one of the many local parks here in Naarm, or camping and hiking further afield, any amount of time spent with Mother Nature is a true balm.
What does the future hold for you?
World domination. But seriously, I have an idea for a large-scale sculptural series, as well as a few photographic series ideas I would like to explore and create in 2024-25. Just as Terra has, they all revolve around identity and our planet.
If I can sell a few pieces, I am also looking to upgrade my current camera, to a waterproof one – I do live in Naarm, after all! I would also like to see more equity for disabled humans, humans of colour, and for trans & gender diverse humans, so will be helping where I can with those issues well into the future.
Teague presents the exciting multimedia exhibition, The Reclamation of Terra, at the Victorian Artists Society (VAS) Gallery from 25 January – 5 February, as part of the 2024 Midsumma Festival. For more information, visit: www.midsumma.org.au for details.
Image: Teague Leigh – photo by Bakri Mahmoud