There's a Hole in the Bucket
James Cabaniuk

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Read text by Uma Breakdown: Trans Death Magic, queer death and queer escape 


do you ever wonder if there was a home there wouldn’t be a search party
In you (version 1 and 2) there was temporary shelter
The walls of the structure were oozing
For a while it looked like you (version 1) had changed, remedied
(version 2) and I have barely had a day apart
Staring into the pool the bottom is barely visible
But then through the haze (of version 2) all becomes clear-ish
I think you evolved into something that oxygenates the water
Another kind of agitator
If you (version 1) had been able to keep your head above the water I wonder what reflection you would
have seen
Whilst stuck in the reflection there’s no hiding place
Apart from where the light comes from
back together again long shadows cast across the floor
A bit rounder but much happier than before
got tapped on the shoulder and thought it was for being too much
Turns out it was for being enough

Slugtown are pleased to present There’s a Hole in the Bucket by James Cabaniuk. Primarily working with large format painting, Cabaniuk’s practice uses personal and canonical histories to debunk myths of shame around trauma and queer identity.

Focusing on the issues within abstract expressionism and its machismo, they navigate the complex relationship of disdaining whilst fetishising the power they hold. They employ coding, abstraction, and queer opacity – layering to construct records. With materials like confetti, glitter and soil serving as tools of celebration, resilience, and connection. Shaped through rapid creation, the paintings are all about the drama, encompassing concepts of fun, camp, sexuality, gender, self destruction, healing, and community.

James Cabaniuk (b. 1987, Carlisle, UK) is a British artist living and working between Manchester and London, having recently graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths University in 2023. Cabaniuk previously established and ran horseshed, a queer archive and exhibition space in a rural shed and hosted online. They were commissioned by Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners to commemorate their 30th anniversary. Recent exhibitions include: Here, Ione & Mann, London, 2023; Des Bains presentation for Minor Attractions/Cornershop, London, 2023; UNANNOUNCED The other voices of silence, Artland Milano, Milan, 2023; LIPS 2, Men’s Toilets, Goldsmiths MFA Studios, Deptford, London; Our Body Are Portal, The Asylum Chapel, London; The Night Holds Its Breath – Queer Direct, Unit 21 Penarth Centre, London; The Cave You Fear To Enter Holds The Treasure You Seek, Lima Zulu, London; My Past is Not My Present – All Welcome, Vilnius, Lithuania.