Archie's Surgery Fund

By Emma Barry

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***UPDATE ***

In response to the 'Passing' monotype prints being sold, I have developed another limited edition series at the same size, for the same donation price. Have a look at The artwork section below for more information!

Hi there,

My name is Archie Barry (legally Emma Barry), and this is my face when I don't know what will happen. I’m a practicing artist and a teacher living in Melbourne, I’m 27 years old, I’m nonbinary transgender, and for a long time I have been wanting top surgery (a double mastectomy). After a lot of thinking, feeling, writing, talking and encouragement from others, I've decided to create a fundraiser to try and make this possibility a reality.

In Australia, there are two financial options for having this operation. The first is to buy premium health insurance for 12 consecutive months, after which point the insurance company will cover surgery costs, and the second option is to pay for surgery fees upfront. I am currently working three casual teaching jobs, which covers my weekly living costs and enables me to balance paid work with sustaining my emerging art practice, however this lifestyle means that it's not possible to save large sums of money.

I am undertaking a three-month artist residency in Berlin from October – December 2018, which means that paying for 12 consecutive months of health insurance is not possible this year. Waiting until January 2019 before being able to start another year of paying for insurance makes me feel overwhelmed and hopeless, so I am reaching out to friends and strangers and asking for help in order to pay for surgery costs.

The total fee is $12,000. I have budgetted to put aside $2,000 from my wages over the next five months, so I am aiming to fundraise the remaining $10,000. The full cost breakdown is listed below for your information.

In exchange for donations, I am so delighted to offer a range of limited-edition artworks. I have tried to make a range of options that will be affordable for different people and meet different interests. The full descriptions and images are below. I have put many hours of contemplation into this work, which contains a synthesis of humour and sincerity that has come to typify my art practice.

Why surgery?

To help others understand why surgery is so important for me, I will share some of my experience. For around ten years I have attempted various strategies for dealing with the dysphoria I experience with my chest. As time has gone on, the anxiety and unease has not lessened but gotten more severe. Seeing my reflection, dressing myself and being publicly misgendered as a woman because of the shape of my chest are elements of my daily experience that result in significant anxiety and dissociative feelings. I don’t leave my house or hug people as much as I want to; solitude is a way to minimise the anxiety of being seen in a body that misrepresents me, but it limits my interactions and potential.

Binding my chest and limiting my social life are not viable long term solutions and provide little relief (binding is painful and restricts my breathing), and as such, surgery has been a beacon gleaming faintly at the edge of my mind for a number of years. In between my body and that beacon has been a lot of reflection, conversation with friends and therapists, a financial impasse and the fear of asking for help. When a good friend suggested that I try crowdfunding, my sense of despair around how to afford surgery slowly transformed.

Since then, I have been making slow practical steps towards surgery. I have had two preparatory consultations with my surgeon here in Melbourne, Andrew Ives. I have been cleared for the procedure, and if this fundraiser is successful, I will be able to have surgery in January 2019.


Here is the surgery cost breakdown:

Surgeon fee: $4,500

Anaesthetist fee: $3,000

Hospital fee: $3,500 - $4,000 for a one-night stay

$12,000 total

There is an estimated Medicare rebate of $1,013 returned to patients after this procedure. I will be donating this rebate to The Royal Children’s Hospital’s (RCH) Gender Dysphoria Service, which is the only expert team providing health services to trans children and adolescents in Australia.


The artwork

The process of making these artworks, from conception to writing, recording and printing, has created a precious introspective space and allowed me to say goodbye to part of my body in a way that feels attuned to my personality and history.

Below is a list of the artworks I have made in exchange for particular donation amounts, alongside a description. However please note that any donation, no matter how small, is received with much gratitude.

Thank you so much to Neil Wallace Printmaking in Melbourne for their discounts on the materials needed to make the monotype prints, and to Art4Site in London for their discount on printing costs of the giclée prints.


Kiss

$25

A hand written thank you card featuring a little ink kiss stamped on the front from one of my nipples. Made with acid free 200gsm paper. Only 30 available.


Guided Relaxation Meditation File

$35

I was taught meditation as a child, and have led various meditation processes at festivals and workshops over the past few years. This is a high quality mp3 guided meditation (15 minutes in duration) that focuses on bringing your attention to the subtle internal rhythms of your heartbeat and breathing, and patterns of contact between your body and your surroundings. Written and spoken by me, sent to you via email link with a password.


Artist Chapbook

$50

A twelve page artist chapbook titled "Incalculable sky, ground zero", containing seven short pieces of autobiographical prose. This writing also serves as an artist statement for the monotype print editions in this fundraiser. Each chapbook is printed with 100% recycled cream coloured paper, hand folded and bound by me with cotton thread. Each cover has a unique hand-marbled ink pattern. Only 50 available, with no consecutive print runs.


Limited Edition Giclée Print ‘Weather’
$65
An archival quality giclée print of an ink and coloured pencil illustration drawn in 2018 titled 'Weather'. The drawing depicts a caterpillar smoking on a window sill, anthropomorphised gender ambiguous smoke puffs, sparkling stars and rain.

Printed on 310gsm paper, A4 sized. Only 20 available.


Limited Edition Giclée Print ‘Water’
$65
An archival quality giclée print of an ink and coloured pencil illustration drawn in 2018 titled titled 'Water', that depicts a partially abstracted figure bending into a body of water, their reflection diffracting on the waters surface.

Printed on 310gsm paper, A4 sized. Only 20 available.

NEW - Limited Edition Monotype Print ‘Weird’

$150

'Weird' is a series of limited edition monotype prints, that I developed in response to the demand for a single print edition once the 'Passing' series were all successfully rehomed!

Each monotype is imprinted by one of my soon to be non-existent breasts. Each print features hand cut lettering in a gothic font reading ‘weird’ surrounded by subtle unbleached titanium white paint on a cream coloured ground. Fine traces from hairs and nipple wrinkles are visible. The shift in meaning and the reclamation of derogatory terms is an ongoing interest in my art practice. The etymology of the word 'weird' can be traced through Old English (meaning 'fate, chance, fortune, destiny', literally 'that which comes'), back to the dead ancestor language Proto-Indo-European meaning 'to become'. In contemporary usage 'weird' has negative connotations, often describing unsavoury or spooky phenomenon. Here it is printed with its originary connotations in mind: the casting of a one word spell to enable a literal material becoming.

Each print is made using 300gsm cold pressed archival paper and high-quality acrylic paint, A3 sized. Each print is signed and edition numbered on the back. Only 10 available.



ALL SOLD - Limited Edition Monotype Print ‘Passing’

$150

‘Passing’ is a series of limited edition monotype prints, imprinted by one of my soon to be non-existent breasts. Each print features hand cut lettering in a gothic font reading ‘passing’ surrounded by subtle unbleached titanium white paint on a cream coloured ground. Fine traces from hairs and nipple wrinkles are visible. Passing refers to the temporary state of physiological matter, and also to the sociological concept of ‘passing as’ something. Each print is made using 300gsm cold pressed archival paper and high-quality acrylic paint, A3 sized. Each print is signed and edition numbered on the back.


Limited Edition Monotype Print ‘Dog Ear’ (Diptych)

$250

‘Dog Ear’ is a series of limited edition monotype prints, imprinted by both of my soon to be non-existent breasts. Each edition is a diptych (two prints per sale) with each print featuring hand cut lettering in a gothic font reading ‘dog’ and 'ear' surrounded by subtle unbleached titanium white paint on a cream coloured ground. Fine traces from hairs and nipple wrinkles are visible. Dog earring is the practice of folding down a page corner in a book to mark progress; this is analogous to top surgery, with these prints becoming a document of a body in transition. Each print is made using 300gsm cold pressed archival paper and high-quality acrylic paint, A3 sized. Each print is signed and edition numbered on the back. Only 10 available.


Artist in Residence (one day)

$500

Invite me to your workplace, studio or home space on a date in February 2019 that suits both of us, and I will create an A2 sized graphite and ink drawing with attention to how bodies move through that space, and interact with architectural elements and objects. I will write a 200 word statement about the drawing, and these will then be gifted to you. Only 2 available.


Artist in Residence (five days)

$1500

For five days in February 2019, I will be your artist in residence. Choose any location in Victoria accessible by public transport (and that won’t put me in danger of breaking the law). I will go there for three consecutive days and create a video artwork, a series of up to five A3 drawings and a 250 word piece of writing in response to that location. This series of work will then be resolved off site during the two following days, and then gifted to you. This will be the first artwork I make post-surgery. This is an interesting option for private collectors, galleries or institutes with an interest in site specificity, transient relationships to space and queer embodied intervention. Specific dates will be co-decided with the donor.

Only 1 available.


Please note: because this fundraiser contains perks that need to be mailed to recipients, you will be prompted to enter a mailing address. If you have selected to receive a meditation audio file, you will be prompted to enter your email address.


Thank you

For visiting my fundraiser, every single donation is truly valuable and means a lot to me, my sense of wellbeing and my ability to feel at ease in my own body.


Love,

Archie

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Emma Barry

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