What kind of person should I be? There is this personal fear in losing my inner circles. Pregnancy is good, compromising work for a year or two is scary. Risking all this to do something wicked, to come out of “the soils sprout and germinate”, to change. Fungus is an agent of change, I will risk sprouting at night and hope to blossom during day. The thought of passing my child bearing age is haunting, yet the present is exciting. These fears come into perfect play with the work created focussing on how far I am willing to go to skip that line and meet my fate – when I have to think about my mind and not our minds.
Since 2012 Stacey Gillian’s sculptural work focuses around gender misconceptions and inequality. The core of her work is very metaphorical; a spider split in half in self-conflict, Twisted (2014); a female figure struggling to stand up, Gender Equality (2012) and a marabou stalk attempting to fly, Undertaker (2014). She works with glass as a principle medium because it illustrates both the fragility and defiance in her personal experience as a sculptor. On completion of her works Gillian feels as if she has overcome something either physically or emotionally.
In many rural areas of Uganda, people live by traditional and conservative values, which many of restrict, deprive and oppress women of expression. Because of this Gillian creates her sculptures in public spaces with both men and women in these communities in order to create a dialogue about social issues like gender equality, art and culture while learning and understanding traditional values and how she can communicate to these communities through creating a gap between, contemporary art to community and self-expression. During the production of Empaako cultural Monument (2014), Gillian received lots of negative feedback and verbal abuse from local men who believed a woman was not supposed to make sculptures. Yet in defiance to these comments she continued to work and a local radio station picked up on it. After this the men started to interact with her and support her with her work.
Gillian hopes that her work will inspire other women to be bold, assertive and defiant.
Stacey Gillian’s career as sculptor began after she graduated with a BA Art and Industrial Design from Kyambogo University (2010 – 2014). She has exhibited works at a variety of group exhibition including; Women Without Borders, Institut Francais Kinshasha (2014), International Stone talk, Nairobi Museum (2014), Age of Innocence, Something or Nothing and Black and White, Fas-Fas Art Gallery (2012 – 2013) and Fireworks, Kabira Country Club (2013). She has also participated in KLA ART 014 (2014), 7th and 8th International Bayimba Festival of the Arts (2014, 2015), Bayimba Regional Festival: Fort Portal (2014), AtWork workshop with Simon Njami and Lettera 27 (2015), Art crossing boarders- Pawa 254, Goethe institute (2015), 7th Insaka International Artists workshop Zambia (2015) DOADOA East African performing arts Market (2015), and 6th LaBa Street Art Festival (2013). Gillian also has completed a residency at 32° East | Ugandan Arts Trust (2014) and holds a certificate in Cultural Leadership- Arterial Network, Goethe Institute (2015). She has produced commissions for Weaverbird Sculpture Park (UG), Gusii Institute of Technology (KY) and Kisii University (KY).