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an Axle 2023 Nanogrant winner



Leviathan O'Neil

Functional Sculpture


I would use this $40 nano grant to create a functional sculpture, using materials from thrift stores, plant stores, and found objects. The sculpture would include cement scraps, a brake rotor from my truck. In the holes of the rotor, there would be plants, soil, plant pot, and vials for propagation. This sculpture would be installed in my partner’s yard in the South Broadway neighborhood, in Albuquerque. The sculpture would allow us, as well as the neighbors, to interact with and view art on a daily basis. The propagation element would allow us to continue growing more and more edible plants that would  eventually be planted in the ground and shared within the surrounding community as much as possible. This would allow for more interaction among neighborhoods on top of being a food source and piece of art. 


Born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Leviathan O’Neil’s body of work is informed by the New Mexican landscape and life in Albuquerque. They are trans-masculine and use he/him and they/them pronouns. The driving force behind his artistic practice is healing in many forms: identity, processing trauma, and grappling with spirituality. They want to break the cycle of generational trauma, using art as a tool. He was born with a cleft palate, originally turning to art to express what couldn’t be said aloud. Art remains a lifeline throughout struggles with mental health and healing. Leviathan has had a deep appreciation for plants, animals, and nature from a young age. They are always eager to learn more about herbalism, ethical harvesting methods, and all things environmental. This love of nature shines through in the use of plant symbolism within their artwork. Lately, he has been focused on resiliency through grieving.

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