Leslie Rose is a disabled trans artist based in Chicago. Over the years, her work has covered the themes of deep spirituality and the confluence of the material and mystical.

A survivor of sex-trafficking and homelessness, Leslie integrates her hallucinogenic experience of the world around her as a result of her trauma, expressing her holistic experience through a variety of media.

Gardens in Open Spaces tells the story of Leslie’s journey to peace with her debilitating pain as well as her knack for flourishing in inhospitable places. By repairing worn garments in public spaces, Leslie recalls the ways she matured and thrived against the odds in an open, radical celebration of people who live on the margins of society.

Leslie stitches each design by hand as a visual vehicle of storytelling, encouraging viewers to move their focus away from the physical, “titillating” details of trans, queer, and disabled bodies and onto the creative power that many outsiders embody through their stories of survival.

Video credit: Totally QAF Productions.