Artist Brandt Eisner presents his outdoor installation “Fagus Polyporaceae” at ARTsPLACE in beautiful Annapolis Royal from September 5 – 30th, 2020.
“Blue is for boys, pink is for girls”, is the old adage that much of my work uses as a starting point, to challenge basic social constructs around identity. This installation is a reminder of the queer boys and men living in rural areas, who historically just could not fit into their environment and suffered in silence; a reminder of lives lived in fear and hiding; a reminder of those who did not survive, primarily because of who they were. It is indeed a reminder, that in 2020 there are boys still living in fear and men still living secret lives, all to avoid judgement. However, this work is also a celebration of those who came out of hiding in order to blaze a new trail, those who are unapologetically proud today, and those who continuously work on educating the public while supporting and uplifting those who don’t identify as “straight”.
I, like so many who grew up in small communities, was bullied and targeted. I wanted to disappear, but like pink fungus, I stood out like a sore thumb in my environment. Only those who have grown up or lived in rural Nova Scotia could really understand what it’s like. Even today, kids raised in the city cannot comprehend how different the world can be just a short drive away. Progress is happening, but for those living in small, often religious communities, it isn’t happening fast enough.