Queer Contemporary: I want a future that lives up to my past

Friday 25 February – Saturday 12 March 2022

Image Caption: Christine Dean, Attic Windows (2019), oil on canvas, 70 x 70 cm

Curated to coincide with the 2022 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, this exhibition brings together a range of distinct LGBTQI voices from within the NAS community, including teaching staff and alumni. It presents works in dialogue about the nature of contemporary art and politics and possible personal, local and global futures through queer visual languages and points of view. I want a future that lives up to my past juxtaposes artists and works to make visible queer aesthetics that are not tied to obvious representations of identity and sexuality, but are materially grounded in the ways LGBTQI lived experience and creative practice demands a range of navigations and interventions in mainstream cultural forms and interpretations. Against the global backdrop of the climate crisis, our second pandemic, and the last decade’s conservative backlash against the human rights of those of us who live in the margins, the works included offer subtle and complex articulations of ideas, images and forms that bridge difficult pasts and possible futures.

Exhibition dates:

25 February – 12 March 2022
Rayner Hoff Project Space, Monday to Saturday, 11am–5pm


Dr Liz Bradshaw


Karla Dickens, Bridie Lunney, Justine Youssef, Nadia Odlum, Christine Dean, Luke Thurgate, Steven Cavanagh, Kurt Banks, Liz Bradshaw


Luke Thurgate, The Yellow Socks Gang, 2021

NAS Short Course: Queer Contemporary Life Drawing Workshop

Thursday 3 and 10 March 2022, 6–8pm
with Luke Thurgate

Join us for an evening of Life Drawing inspired by the 2022 Queer Contemporary exhibition at the National Art School. Set within the Hoff Project Space, this workshop is part immersive tour and part traditional life drawing class. Exhibiting artist, alumnus and NAS lecturer Luke Thurgate demonstrates and guides you to draw the human figure in relation to works on display in the Queer Contemporary exhibition. You will learn from other artists in the exhibition who celebrate the queer community of the National Art School.

This workshop is designed for participants of all levels and is a LGBTQI+ friendly event.

BREAK OUT: Queer Contemporary Performances

Thursday 3 March 2022

NAS Campus

Solar Gold Dancers


6pm Cell Block Theatre

Pat the dyke dry Annaliese Constable
Annaliese Constable invites you into her LTR with her long-suffering partner Emily. This hotbed of mental illness provides the basis for Constable’s exploration of class, ableism and the life as an Indigenous queer woman with a disability.


6.30–8pm The Chapel

Chapel Gareth Ernst
Gareth Ernst is creating a Shibari Tableau Drawing Performance work in the historic and sacred Chapel with three undraped models. One cis male, one cis female and one trans woman. Combining and roping them together with a Japanese roping art form called Shibari, he will be creating a tableau piece from the three joined figures, and will draw them on a large unstretched canvas prepared with ash. Come along and quietly watch the work unfold.


8.15pm Rayner Hoff Project Space

at one’s own pace Lou Harris
at one’s own pace (2021) begins with a small collection of besser blocks gathered on the floor. As the space is activated, the artist’s body rises up on the blocks. A set of parameters emerge; the body is constantly elevated from the ground by the foundations of the blocks, and each movement becomes a searching manoeuvre, reaching for ways to move through the site. Over the course of the performance, the artist physically shifts what holds their body in space – dropping, lifting and dragging these concrete blocks – continuously making accommodations for their needs and desires.
This performance explores ideas of precarious movement and navigation of structures in order to hold and support oneself. Intuitive thought processes are witnessed in real time; an open offer for intimate engagement.
This act of vulnerability articulates the limits and potentials of the artist’s body, marked by concessions made for various physical and emotional boundaries. Tension, stress and satisfaction become a communal experience.


9.50pm Cell Block Theatre

Last Walk Susann Taylor

Susann Taylor’s experiential site-specific performance of lament and defiance.

BREAK OUT: Queer Contemporary Moving Image

Thursday 3 March 2022, 6–10pm

Cell Block Theatre, featuring work by

Todd Fuller
1727: Pieter and Adriaan 2021
Single Channel HD video 6:06

Ladonna Rama (Tokyo)
Abazure 2020
Single Channel HD video 5:04

Claudia Nicholson
Alliance 2011
Single Channel HD video 2:00

Aaron McGarry
Charity/Death 2022
Single Channel HD video 6:36

Liz Bradshaw
1984 2022
Single Channel HD video 6:50

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