Fiona Avocado’s ‘Subversive Domesticities’ on Display at Arts West

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Fiona Avocado’s Subversive Domesticities exhibition currently on display at Arts West (132 West State Street, Athens) explores the concept of home, of the everyday.

“A lot of times when we think of domestic space, we think of the nuclear family, we think of straight couples — we think of married, straight couples with children; and that is not necessarily a life that I want and it is not necessarily a life that I see in existence for a lot of folks in my community here and beyond,” said Avocado. “My interest is talking about home space, and home as community space in these ways that disrupt the standard heteronormative, nuclear family idea around home. The content of my work is from personal experience and what I define as home, and metaphors for that — but also from talking to other folks who identify as queer and feminist about things that represent home — these subversive domesticities. The hope that I have with folks engaging with my work is to find themselves in this work and to have more conversations about what it means to disrupt the status quo in the home space.”

As with many things, Subversive Domesticities was intended to look quite different than it does, due to the COVID-19 crisis. Avocado received two grants from Ohio University to provide printmaking classes for PRISM, an arts group based out of Arts West for regional queer and trans young people and to put together an exhibition of Avocado’s work alongside the work created by PRISM. This plan was disrupted by COVID-19, and now the exhibition is specifically a solo one for Avocado.

An image from “Subversive Domesticities,” Fiona Avocado’s exhibition at Arts West. (Submitted)

Avocado holds a dual degree in arts and humanities and professional writing from Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI and a certificate in Comics and Graphic Novels from the Independent Publishing Resource Center in Portland, OR. She is currently a MFA printmaking candidate at Ohio University after working and creating for eight years in the interim between her academic work.

“I really believe in accessibility in the arts and knowledge, and I think part of my resistance to going to grad school and pursuing my art career in higher education is that it is so difficult to get into these institutions — and if you look at these institutions, they are predominantly white; they are predominantly middle and middle upper class,” she said. “I think it is really important when thinking about making work to think about intersectionality and accessibility of knowledge — regardless of who you are, regardless of your education, class, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. I really care about that and I think that cartooning and zine making and printmaking are all mediums that are meant to be reproduced and distributed widely to share knowledge. That is my interest in those mediums and my continued interest in engaging in those mediums.”

Subversive Domesticities is on display at Arts West through July 29 by appointment.