Join Art Gallery of WA’s long table discussion for PrideFEST

Gay and Lesbian Archive of Western Australia (GALAWA) has been assiting the Art Gallery of Western Australia (AGWA); to locate items for display accompanying the current exhibition by David McDiarmid.

Current Volunteer Co-Convenor of GALAWA Guy Gomeze, has assisted Acting AGWA Curator International Art Dunja Rmandić, to locate archival material documenting the struggles, stories and forgotten voices of the LGBTIQA+ Perth community during the 1980s and ‘90s.

Coinciding with the thirtieth anniversary of WA’s Pride Parade, AGWA presents the ironic, playful and scathing poster work of queer artist and activist David McDiarmid.

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Created at the height of the AIDS epidemic, McDiarmid’s poster works from the State Art Collection are presented in conversation with local stories of the late 1980s and early ’90s, bringing to the fore the lived experience, tragedy and enormous strength of the local LGBTIQA+ Perth community.

Rainbow Aphorisms, made shortly before McDiarmid’s death of AIDS/HIV-related conditions in 1995, combines gay and queer activism with tongue-in-cheek statements, some pointed truths and messages of hope.

David McDiarmid’s work transverses art, design, craft, fashion and music, and exits between activism, high art and community art, with gay rights and identity politics being the primary focus.

Featuring alongside McDiarmid’s works are two altars, one made in the 1990s by Nana Neil. Commemorating those lost to AIDS/HIV with photographs, personal mementos, candles and incense lit in their memory, these altars became a symbol of shared remembrance for the local LGBTIQA+ community.

Archival material from the GALAWA presents a selection of the local LGBTIQA+ press, paper objects, posters and badges; documenting the stories and struggles of the community during the 1980s and ’90s.

Brought together, the display reveals the depth of the community’s support for each other and the shared fight for civil rights reform and visibility for a community that has been marginalised, historically / hertorically discriminated against, and in some cases openly vilified.

The exhibition and display will be accompanied by the Long Table community discussion held during PrideFEST 2020.

The long table will feature speakers from our community including artist Janet Carter, historian Esther Montgomery, Connections owner Tim Brown, curator Jo Darbyshire, poet Barbara Helena Hostalek, Westside Observer founder Gavin McGuren, advocate Maxine Drake, STYLEAID and Pride Queer Film Festival creator Mark Reid, former senator Brian Greig and dramaturg Noemie Huttner-Koros.

I hope that you can join us this Saturday 21 November from 12 till 2pm for the Long Table discussion as part of I want a future that lives up to my past: David McDiarmid and local queer stories. Further details about the exhibition and the event, head to artgallery.wa.gov.au

The event will be live streamed in case you can’t make it on the day.

Guy Gomeze, image: HIV/AIDS Alter by Nana Neil (Provided by GALAWA)


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