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Fat Solace

Azby Whitecalf

June 19 - September 10, 2023

Fat Solace is a piece dedicated to finding twin flames, soft and squishy soul bonds, and cushioning comfort through spaces held for queer fat femmes. Finding connections and friendships through fat alliance is feeling of siblinghood, sharing experiences underneath the watchful parental gaze of body positivity. The unspoken allegiance when faced with a fellow comrade in a changing room, the beach or public transport- even an online presence- breathes an air of a relieved “Thank god, another fat person”. The choruses of “You’re so brave” or “I wish I had your confidence” are showered upon our naked bodies, real life cherubs trying to exist without unwanted praise or synthetic congratulations. I find fat bodies are often the first to be praised for bravery, and strength but are also the first to be stoned when we try to claim these titles. Being fat is made to be seen as a “warrior”, a living resistance to beauty standards or whatever made up idol people have made us to be to spare our feelings. Being fat as always seemed like I needed to be loud and angry, or that despite loving my body that I wanted to secretly change it. I wanted to depict fat people as just human beings, finding kinship in just existing. I have found community and love through rolls, stretch marks, cellulite and being a bit fruity.

Azby Whitecalf is a Two-Spirit Plains Cree artist from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Azby’s practices revolve around Indigenous queer experiences and the connection between Indigenous femininity and queer gender identity. Working in multiple mediums from acrylic painting and soft pastels to yarn tufting, Whitecalf creates dreamy pieces painted with tantalizing blues, perfect purples, and perky pinks. Whitecalf’s work explores themes of Indigenous queerhood, sexual liberation, and the celebration of fat-femmes bodies. Whitecalf’s collection of work spans from paintings, and drawings to the recently published children’s book Buffalo Wild. Their work has been exhibited in galleries and exhibitions in Alberta and Saskatchewan. With their love to be invested in the community, Whitecalf has also led numerous acrylic paintings workshops and has taken part in cultural events to teach art and creativity to Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth.