Alex Aiton

Alex Aiton - BA (Hons) Fine Art

Moving to Manchester allowed me to socialise with like-minded individuals, being welcomed to the city with poppers-fuelled nights out into Canal Street. Though the initial freedom of open selfexpression has diminished, I still resist homonormativity through reclamation of slurs.

The kids on the bus are laughing at me again. I’m not sure why it still feels that way. No one really cares as much as you think they will when you’re thirteen.

Growing up in small-town Derbyshire, the easiest way for me fit in was to assimilate and ignore queerphobic playground taunts. I’d often come out to my peers and be met by an almost patronising “I know”, as through my private identity was a classroom rumour. 

I guess someone already told you.

Transient encounters permeate across physical and digital queer networks, with non-verbal discreet encounters particularly present. Text is formed as we interact with spaces both in writing and speech. The binary of silkscreen printmaking is transcended by situating it with other processes such as monoprinting and stickering. Stickers preserve hastily done graffiti, allowing investigation into the impact of recklessly said insults.

You make eye contact with them across the dancefloor. You panic and look away. You want to but you don’t look again.

Spaces interact with us as we interact with them; creating our own allows better feelings of safety than integrating pre-existing spaces. We reminisce through photographs and ephemera. However, parts of our history will always exist outside of the archive due to both institutional censorship and private moments remaining as memories.

You belong here…