Trevor Southey passed away yesterday. Southey was an artist, sculptor, Mormon, gay man, husband, ex-husband, father and a host of other adjectives.
Born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Southey joined the Church in South Africa and moved to Utah. He studied and taught at BYU. His ‘Alpine modernist’ style combines realistic forms in with abstract elements. The human form was at the center of much of his work. He saw grace and beauty in the human body, even while administrators around him would not permit sketching from nudes. “the reason the human is central to my work is because it’s central to my life,” he said. He would establish an artistic community in Alpine.
He married Elaine Fish and has four children. At age 42 he came out as a gay man, and moved to California. He loved Elaine but could not suppress his identity as a gay man, a gay Mormon. He would later be excommunicated. Writing of when he joined the Church, he said “I was only beginning to sense the terrible paradox of the solitude of the soul in its eternal, excruciating, wonderful dance toward union with another.”