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)


In Praise of Voice Notes and Penguin Pebbling is a part of Mourning Microcosmmutes, a multi-phase, multi-media project featuring photographs, embroidery, 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, artists and otherwise 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 am focussing on the transoms, portals, and points of transition I pass through dozens of times a day within or adjacent to my home. As an autistic creator, there are patterns, visual and ambient rhythms, and other aesthetic observations that could only come from my embodiment of hypervigilance and sensory processing. I want to share these micro minutiae as I experience them. 

My daily commutes are anything from the trip between a telephone doctor’s appointment and setting up my tube feeds on a lunch break;  the colleagues I see at specific times of day are the birds and bunnies that frequent my backyard; the distance calculations and route adjustments I make are influenced by the weather, the quality of sunlight, pain or fatigue levels, dizziness, time of day in relation to medication doses, verbal acuity or brain fog, mobility, and more. 

The term ‘micro’ within this project has a two-fold implication. Both referring to the relative size of my “commute”; as well as the zoomed-in, microscopic composition of the images and clips. I am especially interested in capturing the missable, commonplace, or unremarkable elements that make up my at-home atmosphere. 

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, 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 voice notes included are lifted from conversations with other disabled shielders in my life, those for whom the only way we can be together is through the recorded exchange of our voices. The included photographs are of areas frequently watched or interacted with during voice note conversations. 

  1. Damaged kitchen walls and cabinets from wheelchair fender benders. 
  2. Damaged bathroom wall as a result of an autistic meltdown related to medical care. 
  3. Stained glass window in back door where I birdwatch and report back. 
  4. 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.

**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 which explores and cares for my own experiences of mourning, I can create a landscape for the audience to sit with and care for their own

m. patchwork monoceros

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) cons... ciousness 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 has 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.