“Rest, rainbows + revolution: worlds collide through collage” is a collection of digital collages exploring themes of healing, lived experience, rest, liberation, queerness and neurodivergence by Charli Gayheart (fae/they/them). Featuring some of charli’s favourite things: cute animals, mushrooms, frogs, fairies, outer space, the moon, cats, bright colours and glitter (of course!)
This project forms part of our 2022 Creative Commission within Satellite Foundation’s Youth Advisory Council (YAC). Our first round of creative commissions took place in May this year, and our YAC was offered the freedom to create a work that represents their identity/ies, interests, thoughts, and concerns. Each person who has submitted a piece of work has been paid.
Charli Gayheart is a white queer trans disabled artist living on Wurundjeri Land of the Kulin Nation. Fae began collaging in 2019 as a way to express themselves and their emotions. More of Charli’s work can be found at @gayheartcreative on Instagram.
rest is revolutionary
in a capitalist society where hustle culture is idolised and our time is monetised, getting enough rest can be difficult. i wanted to create a sense of peace and tranquility in this piece. i like that the cute little monkey is so blissed out, and i hope to harness that energy. a lot of revolutionaries have discussed the importance of rest and looking after yourself, especially as a marginalised person.
i think this piece is a further demonstration of rest. this collage is about sapphic love, rest and being able to relax with your loved one/s.
firstly, i cannot get over the shimmery blue mushrooms!
i was inspired to create a collage celebrating my own growth and healing- and yours too. it’s so easy to be hard on ourselves and it’s important to not only have self-compassion, but to also stop every now and then to reflect on how far you have come.
joy out of this world
this collage is all about joy. i think we need to, whenever possible, try to cultivate joy. it’s crucial, not only for our individual wellbeing, but also for our communities.
a liberated world is possible
some days it just feels like the world is doomed. there are so many injustices occurring right now, but it’s important that we have a vision of the future we want, a future that we are moving towards. one where people, animals and the land are liberated from oppression. we can advocate and create change by working together.
your lived experience is invaluable
i had a lot of fun making this. i included the cute frog, caterpillar and butterfly because they all share a common experience: metamorphosis. did you know that in the cocoon, the caterpillar’s enzymes actually eat the caterpillar, turning them essentially into goop?! When the now-butterfly is ready, they have to break down their cocoon from the inside. they then have to wait until their wings are dry until they go off on their first ever flight. metamorphosis is messy! and involves a lot of patience.
i have been very privileged to be on Satellite’s YAC and use and share my lived experience of mental illness and having family members experiencing mental health challenges/mental illness. having lived experience of hardship, marginalisation or oppression is often traumatic. this piece is about how incredible it is to see how your life can metamorphose and blossom out of times of trauma, grief and loneliness. i am so grateful.
i was inspired to include some affirmation-type text in this collection in the hope that it can uplift other people. i personally have come a long way from getting “charli is a great student, but needs to speak up in class” on my primary school report cards. i’ve doubted myself and my own abilities for a really long time, but over the last few years i’ve been able to come out of my shell and speak my truth. i’ve been surrounded by people who love and believe in me, and it’s starting to show. it’s okay if you’re not ‘there’ yet, but this piece is about letting you know it’s okay to believe in yourself, love yourself and be confident in who you are.
i wanted to play with different textures in this image, i feel like i can almost feel the silk! i only became aware that i was neurodivergent two years ago and it’s been great to understand and prioritise my sensory needs. i also think too many of us adults (people in general) think that sensory experiences/toys are only for neurodivergent people, or even just children, but it’s important to invest in your sensory pleasure! play with that fidget spinner, find a ballpit you can indulge in, wear that cozy jumper that makes you feel all the good feelings! your inner child will thank you!