Mathew Wayne Parkin: swamps

Please note that this work contains sexual acts and references Download transcript

Mathew Wayne Parkin (they/them) is an artist, educator, activist and home cook. They often work with experimental moving image as part of an expanded practice that encompasses exhibition making, writing and programming. Parkin is particularly interested in autobiography, forms of documentary, sex and public speech acts. Resisting dominant and professionalised forms of media and moving image production, Parkin embraces DIY and home video techniques, as well as queer crip analysis.

Building on their research undertaken during a recent residency at Cove Park, Parkin has produced a new moving image work called SWAMPS for their PANIC! project. SWAMPS explores public sex and its intersection with disability; the instructions from Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson’s film SWAMP (1969); and how bats see and navigate. The screen is split into three sections, or ‘swamps’. The vertical format of each section suggests mobile phone footage, a view which can constrict and obscure. Tension builds in the audio, where we hear drones with varying pitches and frequencies underneath speech taken from someone speaking about their experience of sex work. 

Central to Parkin’s research for this project is exploring what queer disabled sex looks like, how queer disabled people can access intimacy and the tension between risk and touch.

Mathew Wayne Parkin, SWAMPS, 2022
Sound: Lucy Johnson
Monologue: Owain Harrison

Supported by The Tetley, Cove Park, Creative Scotland, Glasgow International and Love Unlimited

Thanks to Owain Harrison, Jamie Hudson, Claire Biddles, Lucy Johnson, Nastia Nikolskaya, Thomas Boland, Huw Lemmey, Aitor González, BlackpoolDomTop and Annie Crabtree.

Stay safe and enjoy pleasure.


Discover the other PANIC! bursary artists

This work is presented as part of the PANIC! (Promoting an Artists’ Network in the Crisis) series of bursaries.

Earlier this year, PANIC! awarded a group of artists in Leeds City Region £5,000 and £1,000 bursaries to support the making of a new contemporary visual artwork or project. The bursaries offered space to create a voice and help us think through the new psychological, social and cultural conditions we face today.

You can find the work of artists Edd Carr, Charlotte Cullen, Tyvin Haque, ROMA, Nikta Mohammadi, and Lottie Sadd here.