By DOUGLAS MAGALETTI
Sydney’s new LGBTQI museum, Qtopia has announced the appointment of its Queer curatorial team in the leadup to its February opening.
Queer curators, artists, and archivists Jacqui North and Liz Bradshaw will lead the exhibitions at The Bandstand in Green Park and The Red Room at the National Art School.
With over 25 years of experience, North will act as museum experience designer and curator for the Green Park Bandstand. Bradshaw will be in charge of the curation of Ward 17 South, Australia’s first dedicated HIV/AIDS unit that was located at St Vincent’s hospital.
Will showcase queer, trans, and gender-diverse contemporary culture
Opening February 17, 2023, the exhibitions will showcase Queer, trans, and gender-diverse contemporary culture, highlighting the vision of the future permanent queer museum.
According to Qtopia Sydney, the exhibitions “will invite identification, reflection, and participation, celebrating those who fought for the rights of people in the LGBTQIA+ community, the history and activism of Mardi Gras since 1978, the old glamour and excitement of Oxford Street and Kings Cross, the evolution of the communities, and the voices and exuberance of a new generation.”
North says, “The Green Park Bandstand installation will tell a story of the geographical area in which those places sit and the impact of both the journey and obstacles that the Queer Community has both faced and overcome across the decades.
“We will honour our relationships forged on dance floors, on the streets rallying for human rights and facing HIV together.”
Ward 17 south exhibition
The Ward 17 South exhibition will consist of a moving set of vignettes, that include interviews, images, and objects from the St Vincent’s Hospital Collection. They will serve to amplify the voices of those who were there, providing a glimpse into “how the community faced HIV and the Sydney response that was internationally ground-breaking in treatment, care, activism, and education.”
Speaking about the work ahead, North and Bradshaw said, “We are working quietly and quickly to create two exhibitions that will serve as community hubs, creating welcoming open spaces for our communities, for reflection and celebration.”
So where do we go from here? Qtopia Sydney CEO Greg Fisher said, “Our next phase will include open invitations to artists, creatives, and historians and we are reinforcing our invitation to the community to get involved – provide suggestions about would what you would like to experience at Qtopia Sydney in the future, volunteer and visit the Museum when it opens.”
Qtopia’s initiative has the backing and support of former High Court judge Michael Kirby, publisher Ita Buttrose, LGBTQI rights advocate Ian Roberts, queer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander group BlaQ, Bobby Goldsmith Foundation, St Vincent’s Hospital and ACON.