Showcasing the work of Sydney’s leading LGBTQIA+ artists, designers, makers and performers, the Powerhouse Museum has opened Absolutely Queer – an exhibition celebrating contemporary queer creativity for Sydney WorldPride 2023.
The featured creatives include The Beautiful and Useful Studio of Maurice Goldberg and Matthew Aberline; and Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist Dennis Golding – whose work critiques social, political and cultural representations of race and identity.
Also featured are video game developers, animators and illustrators Scott Ford and Peter Foley of Fuzzy Ghost; and multi-disciplinary artist Justin Shoulder – who uses his body and craft to forge connections between queer, migrant, spiritual and intercultural experiences.
They will be joined by gender and body diverse fashion house Nicol & Ford, founded by Katie-Louise and Timothy Nicol-Ford; designer Nikita Majajas of pop art jewellery brand Doodad + Fandango with her wife, international DJ Charlie Villas; and social justice activist and cartoonist Norrie, a transgender advocate.
The work of multi-award-winning Mardi Gras costume designer Renè Rivas will be on display; while legendary drag king Sexy Galexy, whose glamorous thirty-year stage career has been highly influential in forging a new modern take on drag, evolves beyond male impersonation.
Acknowledging the legacy and ongoing influence of pioneering queer creatives, the exhibition will also include seminal Mardi Gras and Sleaze Ball costumes from the Powerhouse collection, including work by Brenton Heath-Kerr, Ron Muncaster, Brian Ross and Peter Tully.
“We are so excited by this extraordinary exhibition curated by Powerhouse,” said said Daniel Clarke, Sydney WorldPride Festival Creative Director – WorldPride Arts. “I am thrilled that these incredible LGBTQIA+ artists, performers and designers will be profiled during this global event.”
“It is a highlight on the WorldPride Arts calendar, which is a curated program of over 70 arts events as part of Sydney WorldPride,” said Clarke
Absolutely Queer follows in the footsteps of previous Powerhouse exhibitions Absolutely Mardi Gras (1996), HIV and AIDS 30 Years On: The Australian Story (2012) and 40 Years of Fabulousness (2018) in reflecting Australia’s contemporary queer histories.
Powerhouse has had a long commitment to collecting and documenting queer histories,” said Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah. “As Sydney prepares to host the biggest LGBTQIA+ festival in the world, we are so excited to welcome the queer community to the Powerhouse.”
Powerhouse, in association with Sydney WorldPride, will present:
SYDNEY OBSERVATORY LATE: WORLDPRIDE
Wednesday 22 February 2023 – 7.00pm
Alice Motion and Alexis Weaver present an experiment in collective sound, inviting audiences to become a part of the Atomic Choir to create an album of some of science’s greatest hits. Witness a star spectrum performance with artist Emily Parsons-Lord and explore the night sky through telescopes in our courtyard, accompanied by sets from local DJs.
POWERHOUSE LATE: QUEERBOURHOOD
Thursday 23 February 2023 – 5.00pm
Sydney’s diverse and vibrant LGBTQIA+ communities take over the iconic Powerhouse Transport Hall with live music and performances curated by Jonny Seymour and Paul Mac, and drinks by Sydney institution The Bearded Tit.
POWERHOUSE LATE: WERKSHOP
Thursday 2 March 2023 – 5.00pm
A deep dive into the creative process of the artists featured in Absolutely Queer along with other iconic Sydney queer creatives, featuring artist-led exhibition tours, a jewellery workshop, a cooking and storytelling experience, music and live performance.
Absolutely Queer is on display at the Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo until December 2023. For more information, visit: www.maas.museum for details.
Image: Installation View, Absolutely Queer at the Powerhouse Museum, Ultimo – photo by Zan Wimberley