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Red Pen Projection by Liz Beeforth explores how ableism and cisheteropatriarchy shapes the perception of classmates and professors

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Over the month of May and leading up to FIFSW’s convocation on June 17, we’re sharing creative work by students, including drawings, paintings, collage, video projects and more. A number of these art-based projects were created as part of course work. Some were produced as part of a co-curricular initiatives. All offer an alternative way to explore, understand, and communicate knowledge, ideas and experiences — as well as inspire action and foster a sense of community.

Red Pen Projection

By Liz Beeforth

This is a mixed media artwork using acrylic, water colour, gel pen, nail polish, gel medium, and found and recycled materials. The background in the left side include colours of blue, pink, and white; and in the right are green, yellow, orange, and darker blue. At the centre is a portrait of a person drawn in red, shaded with words, which is layered on top of a larger line portrait drawn in black, and a smaller line portrait in pink. There is also three octopi on the top left and three upside down smiley faces on the bottom right.

I have often drawn on creative expression as a site for processing, healing from, and making meaning of my lived experiences. My positionalities as a queer/genderqueer person with ADHD are embedded in my art; they are reflected through the layers, textures, vibrant colours, noisiness, and flow that marks my work. This piece explored how ableism and cisheteropatriarchy shape the ways I am perceived by classmates and professors as I move through this program. Through self-portraiture, I sought to highlight the ways perfectionism has facilitated my success and moved me from pity to pedestal, but at a cost. When I work from a place of perfection-seeking, I am not authentic. When people only see and respond to my mask, I am unseen, I remain an object, and my relationships are not authentic. My hope in sharing this work is to unmask myself; to be witnessed as the highly skilled, highly fallible hot mess I am in the hopes that this vulnerability will make authenticity more possible.



Red Pen Projection was created for the exhibition The Art of Resistance, curated by the collective FIFSW Art Action. The Art of Resistance, which ran in April at FIFSW’s Art Wall, showcased creative of FIFSW students on the margins who were invited to share their lived experiences of struggle and resistance in academia through art. For those who may have missed it (and those who would like to view it again) The Art of Resistance exhibition has been relaunched in a virtual gallery.

> Click here to learn more.


About Liz Beeforth 

Liz Beeforth (they/them) a white queer, non-binary, disabled and neurodivergent (ADHD) artist who’s been doing peer work since 2009. Liz loves working with 2SLGBTQ+ communities and hopes to focus more specifically on queer and trans neurodivergent folks moving forward. They are passionate about integrating social justice and trauma-informed approaches to advance equity and they see huge potential for arts-based mediums in liberatory social workings.