Artist Response to Stephanie Burt's Advice From the Lights

Last night I had an in depth conversation with artist Bubblicious (the artist goes by both Bubblicious and Tia Lynn Waters) about her art and contribution to the Virtual Art Gallery - Advice From the Lights: An Artistic Response to the poetry of Stephanie Burt. Stephanie’s poetry is an insight into her life, emotionally raw and as Bubblicious put it, a diary of her younger years.


The Pride Center and Nasty Women Connecticut came together to create an exhibit full of responses to Stephanie's poetry by trangender artists from Connecticut. The Gallery opening is Monday at 6, so get your wine and cheeses ready!

What lead you to reading Stephanie Burt’s poetry?

I didn't know anything about her until Patrick brought her to me.

I think last year there was an exhibit that used trans artists and I said "Patrick why didn't you let me know?" I had some art that I would have put in the show, so he gave me the book a week before and I had a week... I had a whole 6 days to read and produce my piece! I went through a couple poems, I didn't read the whole book and for me it was like reading someones diary.

I hadn't been reading a lot because I was blind for so long, up until this past summer I was legally blind... I haven't sat down to read in a long time... back in NY I used to read a lot of gay and lesbian fiction on the train commute. 

Which poem resonated with you most, and why?

Page 44, I don't remember the title but its that page. I think that was in the middle of her life, and something about that poem, just something stuck in my head

"I want to be found but I wanted to be hard to find." Fairy Story Stephanie, Page 44

Can you tell me about your piece?


The visual of her cover put an idea in my head. When I saw the butterfly, and the whole transformation, and trans, I started looking at butterflies and moths going through this transformation and thats where the majority of my piece came from, was that thought process. The whole metamorphosis of, you're basically, you're born with this body that doesn't seem correct to you, and like a butterfly or a moth, you surround yourself with something like family as a cocoon, to where you're able to basically come to terms and transform into the person you want to be

The name came to me, I didn't want to use trans or transformation. I thought Metamorphosis was more fitting of a title. 

Its this figure, coming out of this very hard square empty shape, and it has a male form in the cocoon and the female figure is coming out of that cocoon. 


What medium did you use for your response, and why?

Basically whatever I could find around my house. I used wire, old picture frame, some aluminum foil, I made paper mache, cause I couldn't get to the store and I only had a couple of days to do this. I used paper mache and some acrylics and jessup. 

The wings have a pink crinoline that has glitter to it and then the hair itself was some, you know cellophane wrapping paper? I cut that up to make the hair. I used aluminum foil as a base and then laid paper mache, and laid cellophane in the paper mache, basically put it around the face, the way I wanted to do, to frame the face with the hair. It happened naturally, I didn't plan it that way, I was sitting there going.... I wanted to do an afro but I couldn't find anything that I liked to do an afro with.... and I've had pink hair before so I just went with pink hair.

How would you describe yourself as an artist?

I don't have any limitations, I don't like labelling myself as it is. I mean its something that comes, its like breathing, I wouldn't say I'm a breather. I can be sitting someplace and my hand will just start going, or my mind will just start thinking about some project that I want to do just for the hell of it. 



- Shay McGrory 

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

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