Image Credit: waiting in line at the corvid cafe, m. patchwork monoceros      

In Praise of Voice Notes and Penguin Pebbling (part of Mourning Microcosmmutes), 2023

Digital photographs laser printed on cotton canvas, embroidery, looped digital video (silent)

Image: waiting in line for the corvid cafe, an embroidered photo-quilt from In Praise of Voice Notes and Penguin Pebbling, 2023.

Image Description: A close-up image of a diagonal stained glass window with transparent, muted coral, and light blue panes joined by black lead lines. The dim daylight of the outside threshold is visible through the panes.


In Praise of Voice Notes and Penguin Pebbling* is an excerpt from the series-in-progress, Mourning Microcosmmutes, a project featuring embroidered photo-quilts and digital video. Both documenting the various paths and barriers that shape my domestic atmosphere as an ambulatory wheelchair user and disabled “shielder,” this series also highlights the access intimacy within qrip careships as represented through the life-sustaining exchange of mobile phone voice notes. 

For other disabled shielders like myself, the pandemic boldly persists while the scope of our social geography progressively decreases, leaving the walls and roofs of our homesteads and headquarters the only “protected” places for us to exist — and even then, we were not always safe.

For this series, I have focused on the transoms, portals, and points of transition I pass through dozens of times a day within or adjacent to my home. ‘Micro’ here refers to the relative size of my “commute” as well as the zoomed-in, microscopic composition of the images and clips in my work. I want to honour this space that protects me from [some] harm while acknowledging that, by being the only safe place for me to be, my home also limits my autonomy beyond its threshold. 

Myself and my qrip-kin (qrip = queer + crip) have lost whole groups and networks of loved ones — not only to the virus and its complications, but to the evaporation of trust and the permeating grief that replaced the love, respect, or care we previously shared. Many of us do not know how we will recover from the injury of being thrown away by everyone except each other. 

The 4 stitched soundwaves included are lifted from conversations with other queer and disabled shielders. The embroidered quilts, following left to right, are:

lunch break view: the lace curtain obscured front window across from where my tube feeds are set up and where one of my cats perches to peruse the neighbourhood

meltdown in the gender neutral bathroom: bathroom wall damaged as a result of an autistic meltdown related to medical ableism

breakroom kitchen: the floor junction between my kitchen and living room

waiting in line at the corvid cafe: the stained glass of the back door where I birdwatch while voice recording

**Penguin Pebbling is a little exchange between two people to show that they care and want to build a meaningful connection. For autistic people, giving little gifts spontaneously can be a meaningful way of communicating that you are thinking about someone and that you care. (


My practice threads multiple disciplines and approaches together in an exploration of balance and intracorporeal groundedness as a Black, agender, disabled creator and creature. Sourced from documentation of my disabled domestic sphere, digital and tactile media (here, embroidery) coalesce to support a narrative process that allows and aims to make a space for grief to live openly. 

My work and practice trouble the compulsory in/visibility of marginalized bodies by peering into ways inherited grief is somaticized and how this somatization impacts our daily movements. My hope is that through creating and offering work that explores and cares for my own experiences of mourning, I can create a landscape for audiences to sit with and care for their own.

Artist Bio

m. patchwork monoceros is a poet and interdisciplinary artist exploring polysensory production and somatic grief through text, fiber, and film. Their work considers a collective qrip (queer+crip) consciousness by connecting to marvelous bodies living with complexity as sick or disabled. A Black creator of Jamaican heritage, m. was among the winners of the 2023 Grant for Disabled Artists from Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba. In 2022, monoceros received the Arts Leader Award and, in 2021, the Emerging Excellence Prize, both from the Manitoba Arts Council. monoceros’ writing and artwork have been presented across Turtle Island and internationally. m. patchwork aka patch is based in Treaty 1/Winnipeg, MB; home of the Métis First Nation and the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Dene, Cree, Dakota, and Oji-Cree Nations. Their first collection of poetry, Remedies for Chiron (Radiant Press) was released in Spring 2023.