PROJECT SPACE | THE BLACK QUEER ADVOCATES18 February 2023 — 23 April 2023
Steven Lindsay Ross is a Wamba Wamba queer man with bloodline connections to the Wiradjuri, Mutthi Mutthi and Gunditjmara peoples. Continuing his research surrounding archival material of Sydney’s Queer and Indigenous communities, we’re proud to host The Queer Black Advocates in our Project Space to accompany Linger, Dash, Talk.
“This is a celebration of black queer advocates and allies, people that survived and thrived through colonialism, empires, frontier wars, stolen land, diseases, churches, guns, starvation, disconnection, rape, sexualisation, homophobes, transphobes, bashings and anything else they could throw at us.
The artists in this space responded to the fire with art and love, absorbing the ire of society, the glares and the stares, and made pieces that spoke of love, of spirit, ancestors and kin, and Country.
Bronwyn Bancroft’s AIDS campaign series took the fears and concerns stirred by the grim reaper AIDS ads of the 80’s and crafted messages of care and support, embracing her queer friends and family in community and solidarity.
The playing card series teased the community’s love of card games, invoking memories of long nights with family and mob, laughing and carrying on. They mashed those memories with street comics, catching us hook, line and sinker. Playful and cheeky, like our people, like our community.
Fucking Angry Gays (FAGS) screamed our anger, our outrage, but left us with hope. There is always hope, plastered around the streets, in alleys.
Black queer advocates weren’t graphic designers, they were community artists, Kooris, Murris, Ngoongars, Goories, embedded in community, from Country. They knew the power of connection and the real meaning of sticking together, support and love. Always love.
Always Was. Always Will Be.”Through his work as a curator, producer and writer, Steven Lindsay Ross honours and showcases, in his words, “the stories of First Nations queer mob in as many places and in as many ways as possible.”
Ross’s work with archives highlights a time when black queer people were largely excluded from mainstream queer culture, and a broadly heteronormative society. Honouring these community artists, he both recognises their contribution and calls forth the power of talking to community as they would talk to each other, without being filtered or mediated.
Artworks have been supplied and used with the permission of the Australian Queer Archives. With special thanks to Nick Henderson.
SATURDAY 18 FEBRUARY
18 FEBRUARY – 23 APRIL
STEVEN LINDSAY ROSS