Contested Bodies: In Conversation with Tiegan Handley

Join GossipGrrrl in conversation with Leeds-based artist Tiegan Handley who was commissioned by The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery for the Contested Bodies exhibition.

For the commission, artist and University of Leeds fine art alum Tiegan Handley (they/them) created a large-scale textile artwork for Parkinson Court.

Tiegan works in textiles, in a way that allows them to be physical – to work at something with their hands, mainly in hand-sewing or machine sewing – and to explore all directions of interest within a project or piece of work.

Their practice is concerned with expressive statements about themself, their queerness, and their identity as a queer person, with a focus on language, quiltmaking, and its associations with craft.

Their quilts are large in scale, taking up space on either the wall, or the floor. It is important to them to be environmentally effective when working, and they make a point of utilising all reclaimed, recycled, or second-hand fabrics, following the historic traditions of quiltmaking.

GossipGrrrl (she/her) is an Artist-Researcher and Cher-fan based in Leeds. Her recent focus has been transgender history in Yorkshire.

Book your place

Tickets are free, but booking is required. Book your ticket on Eventbrite.

This event will be preceded by a Contested Bodies curator tour with Dr Laura Claveria at 5pm. Find out more and book your ticket.

About Contested Bodies

Contested Bodies brings together the work of over 40 contemporary artists who identify across the gender spectrum, and who use the human body as a medium or as a subject matter. Some explore gender stereotypes, self-representation or shapeshifting through fashion, while others address notions of race, class, objectification, pleasure or desire.

All of the works – in painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, printmaking and video – were made in the last decade and were selected from the Marcelle Joseph and GIRLPOWER Collections.


Tiegan Handley with their Contested Bodies commission. Photo by Justin Slee.