‘Sites of Dreaming’ is a multidisciplinary project documenting the process of hormonal replacement therapy with Shia Conlon and various transgender people in Finland. This project began when Conlon had to make the choice between a DIY hormonal replacement therapy or the Finnish medical system which, due to the current Trans Law, requires years of psychological testing and possible sterilization to access hormone replacement therapy.
Facing these options, he took it upon himself to start his own journey outside of the medical system and began documenting the experience. During this process, he learned through his own Transgender community how to take care of the many resulting changes that HRT brings. This was an eye-opening experience and one that often made me wish for more accessible information surrounding transgender healthcare. This project was born of that wish, to make a resource that holds a photographic representation of a trans community and the many ways we take of each other when legislation won’t.
‘Sites of Dreaming’ is both an artwork and a community resource, made by, with, and for the queer community. It is a space for the LGBTQI+ community to see themselves. It forgoes showcasing the often highlighted traumatic moments of navigating healthcare and instead aims to amplify the quieter moments and the mundane domesticity of queer life which often go unrepresented.
Shia Conlon is an artist and writer currently based in Helsinki. Much of his work has been centered around marginalized voices and about growing up in the landscape of working-class Catholic Ireland. His current research focuses on non-linear time, trans representation and the power archives hold for marginalized people. His work has been exhibited in London, New York, Dublin, Helsinki, San Francisco as well as other international cities. His art has been written about in PHMuseum, The New York Times, i-D, Dazed and Confused and Huffington Post UK & US. His writing has been published in Mustekala, NO NIIN, Astra, Zelda, Pilot Press Modern Queer Poets, 14poems & others. He has an MA from Helsinki Academy of Fine Art where he was awarded the Thesis Award 2020.