Sharona Franklin’s Destabilizing Theories of Healing

Sharona Franklin’s breathtaking botanical cakes are dizzying poems, at once joyful and mourning, with jelly shells perceptive to the tiniest of vibrations. Her sensitivity to material and form is conveyed in all aspects of her work, from sculpture, to memes and to books. She is the kind of person with a rural psyche holding up a Pythagorean joke cup spilling difficult to digest but necessary psychedelia. In its various temporalities, her work addresses stigmas, hoping to destabilize theories of healing that ables heedlessly surmise. – Tiziana LaMelia

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Botanical Cake Museum @paid.technologies

Paid Technologies is an online Botanical Cake Museum intended to share delicious moments of our earth. Trippy visions of fantasy and deluxe obtuse ingredients are melded into alchemical forms for convivial and communal delights. Playing with domestic forms, cake making as both a connective experience and an experience of pure un-necessity and escapism, a luxury which is often overlooked in first world /upper-class culture. I started very young and have been making edible violet cakes picked from my grandmas garden since 1995.

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Personal Art: @star_seeded

Insight into my personal day-to-day dealing with hospitals, social housing, bureaucratic structures and biomedical treatments, as well as transient thoughts and experiences.

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Disability Memes: @hot.crip

An online meme project disseminating disability awareness and ableism. This project works to sustain an online community for people with disabilities and those looking to understand and contribute to the cause.

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Disabled Personals Project: @disabled_personals

This project takes a proactive stance to educate people on stigmatizations and alienations disabled people face in both dating and the greater social community. People with disabilities are entrenched within a reality where education, employment, marriage, reproduction and economy odds are all stacked against us while institutionalization, imprisonment, and poverty are our daily truths.

The goal for disabled personals is to allow for community to develop itself organically under a blanket of transparency, in which the community feels safe and supported. Not all who post need to be disabled to submit, but all on the page are expected to be accepting and open to relationships with disabled people.

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New Psychedelia of Industrial Healing is a daily cycling bio-installation adopting the structure of durational performance and sculpture, meditating on medical treatments, which began 20 years ago. As a social reclamation to expose disability, it enacts a process-based bio-ritual, conflating biopharmacology, biocitizenship and the unveiled autobiography of the daily ritual of private self-injection treatment of genetic disease. Live cell altars are assembled, documented and connecting through instagram. Antibody syringes arranged among unprecious objects, the syringe creates new psychedelia of visual meditations, interjecting social media algorithms. Each image confronts questions of “Who defines celebration while policing the expression of the disabled?”


Sharona Franklin (b. 1987) is a Vancouver based artist who has shown internationally. Franklin’s work disseminates a personal mythology of gender, class, bio-citizenship, and botany and the means to be a human negotiating the everyday realities of pharmacological dependency, social inter-dependency, and self/community advocacy. Her body of work in writing, sculpture and painting is reflexive to transhumanism, propaganda and bioethics, aiming to expand interpretations of biopharmaceutical based genetic engineering. Animal-derived gelatin encapsulates natural fibres, herbal medicines, wood scraps, metals and botanicals in a bionic constellation. Her sculpture works confront the viewer with facets of transparency and opacity in an otherworldly domestic vision. The dissolving forms allude to the body, dismantling of disability stigmas, and the reality of undermined reproductive rights intrinsic to the use of living cells in the treatment of genetic disease.

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Name: Sharona Franklin

Birthplace : Vernon British Columbia, CANADA

Métier : Artist/Writer/Activist/Sculptor

Sources of inspiration : Social movements and aesthetics of the 1960/70s, subverting domestic ingredients within art such as papier mache, salt dough, natural textiles and dyes, counterculture, john waters films, cultural and theological interpretation of natural history, herbal medicine, bionic adaptations and ways of opposing norms.

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Sources of motivation :  As a disabled woman reclaiming domestic practices. Most disabled women have been considered useless and a burden throughout history due to the rigid standards of women or femmes in the home. The use of biotechnology and bionics to facilitate more accessible ways of life, integration of natural history with biotech Science fiction philosophy, Mythologies – my work is a mythology, I like to study information and movements of the past even if I don’t agree on it, try to find new constellations and ground points to begin new directions.

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What makes you happy : supportive friends, a cozy bed,  critical but open conversation, inclusive and accessible communities, homemade foods, seasonal botanicals, I try to stay connected to simple sincere things.

Favorite reads : get ur hands on some Cassandra Zines (*by Taylor Doran and Kandis Williams), Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous people”  Linda Tuhiwai Smit, Prison Industrial Complex Explodes – Mercedes Eng, The Eyelash and The Monochrome – Tiziana LaMelia

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Favorite tunes : I love so much various music. I make a series or archival cassette mixes called the Peace Library. Some of my faves things to listen to are Ramp, Alice Coltrane, Brenda Ray, Mo Tucker, ESG, Anika and Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou.

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Favorite foods : a good brothy soup like Pho, okonomiyaki, fish tacos, steam buns.. people don’t really know this about me but I can’t chew or swallow well so I eat a ton of soft foods. I LOVE greek food like moussaka. I have a few of digestive disease as well as physical diseases. I take a ton of meds and my diets change often but for herbal digestives I love Zizia botanicals Catnip Chamomile caps!

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Beauty tips : snail sheet masks (super healing for us drug-induced immune suppressed folks), jade facial massage, matcha and tonic teas like nettle, milk thistle, chrysanthemum and dandelion root.

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Favorite ways to unwind : spending time alone, acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping, magnesium baths (I’ll also put rocks and crystals in the tub, burn some bay leaves and I love essential oils) As a child, disease juvenile  clinics taught me meditation and physio/yoga to help me cope with the degenerative joint and tissue diseases I’ve grown up with. It’s part of my daily routine as well as transmuting ideas and experiences into writing and art.

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What gets you in a working flow: I often follow the path of first-thought-best-thought, with method and instinct and try to see ideas through while critically editing in the middle and end. If I begin only with criticality and little flexibility, it stunts my practice altogether in an unproductive way.

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What are you working on now :

I’m currently preparing to go to the Kesey Farm Residency, which is being curated this year by Dizzy Mag, so keep an eye out for that exhibition and residency interview.

I have been doing research for an upcoming exhibition project for the University of British Columbia Blockchain Conference and I recently contributed to the Flux Factory Talk Back! Exhibition which I’ll be doing an artist talk at Flux Factory on June 1st, 2019. I was recently involved with a series of group shows in LA, Prague, Vancouver CA and NYC. I was also very recently able to take part as a contributing artist for the Dr. Peters AIDS Auction. Soon I’ll be releasing a series of artist prints and I’ve been working on a new book as well as new work.

also have been working with CASSANDRA PRESS on a new zine project for release at Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, Sep 20-22, 2019.

Favorite motto: * believe in your self *, Some other thoughts that I’ve written to help me get by are also in my book Rental Bod.. “Good things rise, don’t fall for now, forever is bending” and “pain is a peace teacher”.