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Qtopia Sydney Museum Exhibitions Well Underway

January 19, 2023

Having secured the substantial talents and skills of Queer curators, artists and archivists Jacqui North and Liz Bradshaw, the exhibition spaces are taking shape at The Bandstand in Green Park and The Red Room in National Art School.

Opening to the public on Friday 17 February 2023, to coincide with the opening of Sydney WorldPride 2023, a committed team are working around the clock to support the Board to unveil Australia’s first Queer Museum.

The exhibitions will be gathering places that present Queer, trans and gender diverse contemporary culture in context, introducing the vision of a future Sydney LGBTQIA+ Museum.

“As soon as I heard that Qtopia Sydney was representing Ward 17 South in their exhibition spaces, I wanted to work on such an important story,” said curator Liz Bradshaw.

“Ward 17 South and St Vincent’s were central in the testing, treatment, and care of people with HIV/AIDS. They contributed to the development of internationally ground-breaking, effective treatments. It is an integral part of a history that has profoundly shaped our community and culture.

“For me, the heart of the exhibition is to amplify the voices of those who were there: I want the people who remember to be moved and to feel recognised. “And I want people who know nothing of the story to be shocked and amazed: by what it was like and by the story of incredible people doing incredible things that saved lives. The activism and advocacy of the community were remarkable and remarkably effective.

“Sometimes we need reminding that the ‘Australian model’ – where community, government, and medical organisations worked together – was extraordinary,” said Liz.

Fellow curator Jacqui North said she was deeply honoured to be creating this first phase of QTOPIA Sydney with the community, artists, historians and the Board.

“To coincide with Sydney WorldPride 2023, we are bringing The Bandstand in Green Park in Darlinghurst to life, with Queer and trans artists, performers and activist stories.

“The celebration of gender and sexual diversity is fittingly in the park between Kings Cross and Oxford Street, historically a gathering place and a pickup place, when venues closed.

“In fact The Wall – which is the exterior wall of the National Art School – was a pickup point from the early colonial days.

“Green Park Bandstand is such a beautiful building, situated in the heart of the Queer and trans world since the colony began on the land of the Gadigal people, built in 1925 to host public band concerts, a popular feature of Sydney life in the interwar years.

“Qtopia Sydney is incredibly excited to share this world premiere of archival and contemporary photography and art, and artists will be on site to discuss their work and invite people to gain a greater understanding and insight into our histories.

“Liz and I hope these exhibition spaces will provide a window into these things and just the beginning of what a future museum with a permanent display can communicate to keep these stories visible and accessible,” Jacqui concluded.

Photo: 1994 Bunny Hop – Queen Bunny delivers donations from The Bookshop & Oblivian to Terry Morris at Ward 17 South
Credit: @mazziimages

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