Reed Fowler is a second year Master's of Divinity candidate at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. They bring a jack-of-all-trades background, with work in retail, LGBTQIA+ activism, theater, ceramic and textile arts. Reed is white, queer, nonbinary, with a lived experience of mental illness and the grace of the cross.
For their BA thesis performance, a collective created a durational performance exploring a loom that stands anagalous to the cross. A queered crucifixion. It was a creation of space as sanctuary, trying to fill an aching void for the sacred that was awakened in their gut. It was a centering of liminal space, holding the in-between, not the end points, as the focus; as well as self-care, and a non-hierarchical, horizontal creation process. This loom has made appearances in a later performance project on Samson + Deliliah, and a community weaving project in a church space.
The theology of weaving and textile craft is intimately connected to a reclamation of queer domesticity, and functional beauty. Reed's work centers on the intersections of ritual, healing, and artistic practice as an embodiment of their call to the visceral elements of bread and wine and ashes and oil and water.
They spend downtime knitting, queering faith + domesticity, and hanging out with their partner and ever-increasing menagerie.
UAE: 2011-13, 2014-15
– so much of my identity is constructed through trauma – physical alterations, mental illness, gendered presentation – how do our bodies heal from trauma that is self-inflicted and willing? the tattoos and scars on my body reclaim it, but there is a loss as one bodied persona is shed for a body that is raw
recently i have found a form of faith that is made visceral through the wine-soaked bread of communion. the secular body makes a clear line between what is considered sacred and what is considered profane, yet my lived experience puts these as one in the same
i engage in a devising process that is collaborative and rhizomatic – a form of creating that shifts the final witnessed piece into something more organic and visceral than the spectacle
a horizontal process inherently creates community in reaction to the bodies on stage, pushing against the current systems of power with clear divides of class, race, and gender, etc, both intentional and embodied
(excerpted from a cover letter to the university of helsinki, spring 2015)