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Teague Leigh

Teague Leigh is an autistic trans man from planets unknown, currently residing in Naarm. Once upon a time he was anthologised in various works and performed his spoken words around the country. In 2012 Teague developed schizophrenia, a subsequent cognitive disability, and was also diagnosed with autism. As words became harder to obtain, Teague substituted writing for photography, something he had not pursued for decades when he learnt to develop his analog images in darkrooms. Now, in the absence of words, Teague is letting his landscape images speak for him. He has always considered himself a "softcore anarchist".


Making a writing comeback, in 2021 Teague had a non-fiction story published within the Bent Street 5.1 anthology “Soft Borders, Hard Edges”, which was accompanied by two of his landscape images. He has also had an article, discussing living with an invisible disability, published in Archer.


Photographic highlights include several images featured in the 2020 coffee table book Melbourne: Without the Crowds (Jamie van Leeuwen). Past images have received Commendations four years in a row in The Mono Awards as well as receiving a Commendation in Landscape Photography World Awards, Australasia’s Top Emerging Photographers Awards in 2022, and Highly Commended in 2023, plus a Commended in the Black & White Category of the Australian Photography Photographer of the Year 2023.


In August 2022, Teague started attending art classes at Artstop, Brunswick, run through Arts Access Victoria (AAV). His vision of creating environmental change through LGBTQIA+SB community and ally cohesion with his landscape photography was a driving force in his attendance. It is here that Teague took up the palette knife and acrylic paint, and collaged his landscapes with the message that we must deconstruct our current views, policies and actions, in order to rebuild for a better future.


In 2022-23 Teague Leigh was a recipient of the Yarra Sculpture Gallery Summer Residency under the tutelage of artist Andrea Hughes. This 8-week residency for artists living with a disability allowed Teague to work in a studio environment in order to create the bones of his anarchist multi-media series "The Reclamation of Terra".


At the same time in 2022-23, Teague also became the recipient of the Midsumma Pathways Program, offering disabled creatives a mentor for nine months. This mentorship (with award winning photographer Luke David) has allowed Teague to achieve his artistic vision by queering his landscape photography; reach a broader audience; exhibit solo works; and develop the technique of storytelling to promote his creativity nationally.


With the ongoing pressure from right-wing factions and fascists here in Australia, and indeed the world, seen in Naarm with neo-Nazis saluting on the steps of parliament and blatantly claiming all LGBTQIA+SB individuals must die, and across the country with drag queen Storytime being routinely cancelled by councils, Teague's desire for change is ever more urgent. His series asks the question "What good is fighting for equality if there is no food to eat, or air to breathe?" The might of the rainbow community must focus on fixing climate devastation.


As well as focusing on his upcoming gala exhibition of "The Reclamation of Terra" at VAS, 25th January, 2024, Teague had his solo debut in September 2023 at Sol Gallery, Fitzroy, and has been exhibiting with other artists living with a disability in Naarm at group shows such as the Merri-Bek Summer Show 2022 & 2023 at Counihan Gallery, Brunswick; two projection offerings with the AAV in collaboration with The Little Projection Company at Project 281, Brunswick (including "Prism", which will be rescreened in Feb, 2024); Artstop group show “Shining A Light Into The Darkness”, at Schoolhouse Studios, Coburg; and “Emergency: Action” at Climarte Gallery in Richmond.


On Thursday 29th June, Teague’s second essay for Archer was published, coinciding with the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. ‘Protest Alongside Pride’, asks allies of the LGBTQIA+SB community to actively protest 365 days a year and not just save it for joining us at parties during Pride month.


Teague's journey with "The Reclamation of Terra" will culminate at Victorian Artists Society (VAS), East Melbourne, during the Midsumma Festival, Australia's premier LGBTQIA+SB cultural event. The launch on the 25th of January 2024 will be a gala event, showcasing a range of diverse rainbow performers (and a token ally) in order to highlight the strength of community togetherness.


Teague Leigh is a self taught digital photographer who has studied film photography in darkrooms across Canberra in the 80/90's.

His event photography clients include Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Midsumma Festival, Melbourne Rainbow Band, Emerging Writer's Festival, and National Breast Cancer Foundation. 

He has been creating mixed media art through the Artstop program via Arts Access Victoria since 2022.


*Headshot credit #1: Bhavin Mettanant 

Headshot credit #2: Aera Bradley 

Exhibitions & Events by Teague Leigh

25 Jan 2024 – 5 Feb 2024

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