Artist Biography

Sheer Obsession AKA Ollie Musson is a Sheffield born, queer & trans artist, living and working in Reading.Their practice has a heavy influence in drag and cabaret, using film, sound and text to create surreal narratives of transformation through gender, health and trauma. These moments occur in the intersections of mental and physical illness, critiquing standards of health through expanding on (dis)ableist frameworks of bodily experiences. Notions of rest and recovery lay alongside an embodied trans experience of gender, creating an intersectional Queer and Crip strand of research. 

Margainalised queer and working class communities established drag and cabaret as forms of resistance, entertainment and community. Through this history Ollie has learnt to straddle care, safety and connection with audiences. Ollie also uses DIY publishing and zines as written documentation and community resources, and through print-making they reclaim art methodologies that have traditionally been held within an institutional narrative.

In 2018, Ollie co-founded Double Okay, a queer/trans artist collective in Reading. They curate performance nights, exhibitions and workshops to create safer platforms for marginalised voices and LGBTQIA+ people. They’ve hosted 6 iterations of cabaret night u slip into and have performed for Reading Fringe, Reading on Thames and Open for Art festivals. Double Okay have showcased the work of 19 queer artists across the UK and Europe, and in September 2020 u slip into //:embrace was ACE funded through Rising Sun Arts Centre. They also run a bimonthly DIY and grassroots drag night called Sheer Obsession’s Suspenders.

In 2018 Ollie was artist in residence at Womp studios in Sheffield. They’ve performed in London at comedy night You Can’t Blame A Girl For Trying, as part of the Queer Ways of Being exhibition in Sheffield, and at Reading’s drag night Pussy’s Bow. In March 2020, Ollie was commissioned by Raze Collective to develop a genderqueered reading of Ursula from the film The Little Mermaid. Their solo exhibition Gargle It at GarageGallery62 in March 2020 further explored this research, as did their work at Beyond Otherness at 571 Gallery in Reading.