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sculptural snogging

Sculptural Snogging
Beyond the Binary 


As part of the British Science Festival (a partnership between the British Science Association and Exeter University), ‘Sculptural Snogging’ was an art/science workshop blending physical and digital creative spaces. It explored public health research surrounding sexual healthcare experiences of trans and non-binary people.


The UK National LGBTQ+ Survey found they are less likely to attend a sexual health clinic and are far more likely to report a negative experience. The underlying systemic exclusion and poor access of trans and gender non-binary people from healthcare is an issue that needs to be further researched, publicly explored, and broad audiences invited in to raise awareness and promote action for change. We know that by working with trans communities in partnership, health services can be significantly better. This includes engaging trans people in the design and delivery of interventions, training sexual health workers on trans sexual health needs and including them in the development of health programmes and research.


In collaboration with the LGBTQ+ charity the Intercom Trust, the drop-in session aimed to de-bunk myths about sexual health, explore public health challenges, and promote queer body positivity. The public could step into a make-shift art laboratory space to delve into the art and science of our mouths, kissing and sexual health by sculpting fantastical queer lips and tongues in wax. Historically used for anatomical models, they could make them uniquely their own with piercings, ink and make-up. Participants could also view the 3D mouth sculptures in a virtual reality art gallery set-up in the space which they could walk around. These digital anatomies explored queering of the body and transcendentally enhanced oral creations to playfully explore the body.


For the event diverse attendees curiously walked into the space and sat down to get stuck into some hands-on making. With a varied assortment of tools and crafting equipment at their finger-tips, they readily sculpted weird and wonderful creations. Faye, an LGBTQ+ domestic violence support worker for the Intercom Trust brought her experience and resources to spark new stories and conversations together. Attendees could take home their handiworks in a decadent red velvet-like bag to share their experience with others, or put on the VR headset to peer into the virtual gallery, inquisitively being immersed with the sculptures all around the room. 

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