The results of Expression, InsideOUT’s first multi-media arts competition, are in, showing strong entries across three categories of art, writing and film.
“Part of our work is to bring more visibility to issues relating to people of minority sexualities, sexes and genders,” said Tabby Besley, National Coordinator of InsideOUT.
As part of this endeavour, InsideOUT launched Expression this year – a multi-media arts competition for young people aged 13-19.
“We were aware that in some schools young people are discouraged to create artwork with rainbow themes and that often when they do, it isn’t understood or recognised appropriately,” said Tabby. “Expression intends to bring more visibility to artworks with rainbow themes that contain positive representations, challenge norms and confront LGBTQIA+ issues, and reward the young people who are creating this content.”
Entries to the art category were strong, seeing Clay Morrigan, an eighteen year-old from Auckland take out first prize for their comic called ‘Transition is Freedom’.
“Winning this means a ton to me because this makes me feel understood and valued as an artist and as a trans person,” said Clay. “It makes me feel like people appreciate my work and that it’s actually a possibility to reach and help a lot of people with my art. Thanks again to anyone who has supported me so far with my work, I wouldn’t be here without you.””
In second place for art was a piece called ‘Ignorance’ by Winter and third place went to Elliot Mckenzie for their comic ‘Don’t Look Now’.
Anthea Visage from Waikato won the top prize in the film category.
“REBORN was created for the queer youth who feel that they don’t have a voice. Ultimately it showcases the importance of unity, and the idea that we should support, accept and love one another no matter what,” she said. “We are all different, we are all diverse. But it is what makes us who we are.”
“Being a strong advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community, it means the absolute world to me that I have won InsideOUT’s Expression Film Competition. It has now given me the opportunity to share my art, in order to not only educate viewers, but to also give struggling transgender youth hope. I hope REBORN influences people in to be kind, and compassionate. I hope REBORN empowers queer youth, and most importantly, I hope REBORN inspires bravery.”
Jayden Hooper from Wellington came in second place for his artistic film ‘Others’, which explores heteronormativity.
In third place was Jay Whipps for their film ‘The Short Straw’, which documents Wellington Girls’ College student activist Josie Chambers and how she successfully pushed for her school to implement a gender neutral uniform option.
The writing category saw the most entries to the competition, and included a range of prose, poems, short stories and even a screenplay. First place went to Jennifer Alderton-Moss from Wellington, for her first-person prose, ‘Jenny’, which sees a young woman coming to terms with her sexuality and overcoming internalised biphobia.
“I fell in love with the whites of her eyes as they rode a roller coaster, looping around at something silly I had done, but always with a smile; always with that little hidden smile” – Jenny
The three first place winners will each receive $500, with the runner ups receiving prizes thanks to sponsorship from Unity Books, The French Art Shop, Lighthouse Cinemas and Event Cinemas.
“We were overwhelmed by the time and effort put in by this year’s entrants and can’t wait to see how the competition grows over time,” said Tabby. “There was a huge amount of resilience in people’s experiences that rang through across all the submissions, and InsideOUT feels honoured to provide a platform to share these young people’s stories.”
All submissions will be gradually released on the Expression website over the next few weeks. The competition will be open again for submissions between 1st May-31st October 2017.