Residency Unlimited

Shia Roan Conlon

Shia Roan Conlon, "Fag (After Peter Hujar)", photograph, 2021

Artist Name: Shia Roan Conlon
Residency Dates: July – August 2024
Born: 1990
Hometown: Ireland
Lives & Works: Helenski, Finland
URL: | Instagram: @shiaconlon
Permanent Collections: National Collection of Finland, Helsinki Art Museum, Finnish Art Society, and National Photographic Collection of Ireland
Education: MFA, Helenski Academy of Fine Arts

Bio/ Statement:

Shia Conlon is an artist whose work as a photographer centers on the power of the medium as a tool for trans liberation. Conlon’s work is deeply influenced by the fetishistic nature of photography, as well as by the history of queer photography and cinema that has come before him. He sees his practice as part of a legacy of using art to resist oppressive norms and create space for marginalized communities to thrive. His goal is to create a body of work that showcases the full complexity and diversity of trans life, and that celebrates the power of desire and fantasy as tools of resistance and liberation.

Overall, Conlon’s work is characterized by a deep commitment to creating more nuanced and authentic representations of trans life, one that moves beyond depictions of trauma and struggle, and instead, celebrates the everyday moments of joy, love, and self-determination that are integral to the trans experience.

In addition to his artistic practice, he is also the editor of a transgender writing and art magazine, Almanac Press, which donates its entire profits to mutual aid for the trans community. Through his editorial work, Conlon seeks to provide a platform for trans voices and to create a space which directly affects the material conditions of those involved. He is also one half of Trans Library Helsinki, a new library and archive in Finland which seeks to create a safe space for the local LGBTQI+ community.

Conlon’s artworks and writings have been published in New York Times, i-D, Dazed and Confused, Huffington Post, Astra, Nuori Voima, Mustekala, Zelda, NO NIIN, Pilot Press & more. His work has been shown internationally in Dublin, London, NYC, Helsinki & many other international cities. His work is in the collections of National Collection of Finland, Helsinki Art Museum, Preus Museum Norway, Finnish Art Society and National Photographic Collection of Ireland, as well as numerous private collections. In 2023, he had three shows in Finland: a solo show in Hippolyte, Turun Taidehalli, as well as being part of Nuoret 2023. He was part of a group show at AIR Gallery in Brooklyn in 2023. He had his first institutional show “Not Gay” in the U.S. at Rockefeller Arts Center in Fredonia, NY in August 2023 curated by Jonathan David Katz and Ryan Patrick Krueger.


Support: Shia Roan Conlon’s residency is made possible with support from the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York (FCINY).

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