Hayley is an illustrator whose work celebrates queer identities, explores mental health and class, and interrogates gender
5/5 Illustrations for a series of editorial works for It’s Nice That. The works accompany an article focusing on what it is like to work in the creative industries with chronic illness and challenging the dominant ableist society we live in.
Jelly is such a fun material. It can be whatever flavour, colour, shape, or consistency you want it to be. Jelly can live its life as a powder, a liquid, a solid, and then start the cycle all over again. Something about jelly speaks to the resilience needed to be a chronically ill or disabled person in the rigid society we live in. Whilst we are constantly being put into moulds, stereotypes, and narratives by the dominant ableist culture, we are moving, changing, and fighting through it. Like jelly, we have the ability to change shape, bounce back, and be fucking delicious whilst we are at it.
In this series, I see jelly as us. The chronically ill and disabled who are resisting the old world. And, then, what if we could imagine that the “tediously old fashioned” and “hollow container” that is society were also made of jelly. What if the world around us were as malleable and as fabulous as we are? what if they thought about us when they built our world? So, this series is a journey to that new world. The old red landscape, devoid of compassion, slowly looses its grip to the pink hues of hope. The yellow sky of an apocalypse begins to look more like the sun setting on a time that has come to an end. The jelly, forced into shapes that don’t suit it, becomes a tool for whatever sort of expression we want. And finally, together, we are propelled into the new world – one where everything is flexible and shining and glorious because we are all considering each other and smashing moulds to get there.
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