The themes and interests of Heavey’s work lie in exploring the male psyche; the inherent tensions and vulnerabilities of manhood from a queer, psychoanalytical perspective on male gender identity. Currently Artist-in-Residence on Spike Island as part of a residency programme with Sample-Studios, the island as a former prison, barracks and monastery forms a rich site for the activation and further exploration of masculinity in his emergent artist film practice.
The work from this residency aims to initiate discussions about masculinity in today’s society; drawing inspiration from Spike Island’s history as a monastery, barracks, and most notably a prison.
Guided by the sacred; the work explores the layers of masculine experiences that emerged from this environment. It examines the struggles faced by those who were incarcerated on Spike Island and interweaves evidence of camaraderie and acts of kindness among prisoners, emphasizing the resilience and humanity that can emerge even in the most challenging circumstances. The project allows for an exploration of the male psyche in its most raw form and in an environment that has powerful, haunting energies of the masculine experience. As society grapples with deepening crises of male mental health and toxic masculinity, the work aims to play with and perhaps even foster an appreciation for these complexities. It hopes to rediscover and learn from the wildness and wisdom of the masculine, even in its darkest and scariest forms of expression.