Queer Contemporary 14 February – 14 March 2020

Image: Deborah Kelly Venus as a Boy digital print on silk, 100 x 200 cm. Courtesy and © the artist

The National Art School’s iconic site is a part of the queer past and the queer future, from the infamous Wall to the huge success of the Museum of Love and Protest in 2018 and now the presentation of Queer Contemporary – The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Visual Arts Program. Queer Contemporary includes exhibitions, conversations, workshops, kids and family activities and the boutique Moonlite pop up bar named in honour of a former inmate – Bush Ranger Captain Moonlite and his lover James Nesbitt.



LOCATION: Rayner Hoff Project Space
EXHIBITION DATES: 14 February – 14 March 2020
OPENING NIGHT:  Friday 14 February, 6–10pm, all welcome
OPENING HOURS: Monday – Saturday, 11am–5pm

Artists: Tony Albert, Archie Barry, Gary Carsley, Brian Fuata, Deborah Kelly, Del Lumanata, Sarah Rodigari, Tejal Shah, Tyza Stewart, Paul Yore, Guanyu Xu

Curator: Scott Elliot

Queer artists have long understood the power of collage as a tool for manipulating the singular narratives that so often exclude them. Misfit examines the idea of collage as a medium especially susceptible to embodying queer experience. Presenting works by Australian and international artists who engage with performance, video, text, photography, textile, painting, paper and sound, Misfit looks at how the radically reassembled can veer us closer to unseen truths, productive ambiguities and powerful positions of resistance.

Paul Yore, Mother Tongue 2017 (detail) mixed media textile, beads, buttons,
sequins, acrylic, enamel, watercolour and found objects, 348 x 212 cm (irreg).
Image courtesy and © the artist. Photo: Devon Ackermann


LOCATION: Library Stairwell Gallery, entry from rear of library building
EXHIBITION DATES: 14 February – 14 March 2020
OPENING NIGHT:  Friday 14 February, 6–10pm, all welcome
Monday – Friday 10am–4pm
Saturday 11am – 5pm

Artists: Evan ‘Bones’ Adam, Fergus Berney Gibson, Daniel Hull, Isaac Spigelman, Claire Welch

Curator: Fergus Burney-Gibson

i hate my dad is a group show by National Art School students exploring contemporary masculinity through a queer lens. The broad context we exist in is patriarchal – its power structure affects us all in different ways, in some ways we might not even be aware of. This group of artists critiques and challenges patriarchal undercurrents, asking the questions: Is masculinity inherent? Is masculinity male? Is masculinity toxic? And most principally – can we change it?

Evan ‘Bones’ Adam, There’s more than
one way to skin a dog 2019, inkjet print,
42 x 59.4cm. Courtesy and © the artist.



LOCATION: Cell Block Theatre
DATE: Friday 21 February
TIME: 6.30–10pm
TICKETS: $30 General admission, $25 Concession/NAS Student + booking fee

Spend an evening lounged in our indulgent queer salon at NAS, surrounded by a family of queer orators who will delight you with short readings from their most treasured pieces of queer literature and words that changed their life.

Hear from our courageous 78ers and a host of queer celebrities, identities, advocates, heroes, young voices and our newest talents. Sip champagne and enjoy an array of sweet and savoury delights as we turn pages and invoke the literary history of queer storytelling. Join us in celebrating words that matter.

Add to your salon experience with our Moonlite pop-up bar and Print with Pride workshop.

Salon lineup to be announced.

Queer words that changed my life


LOCATION: Begins in the Rayner Hoff Project Space and will continue across campus
DATE: Friday 21 February
TIME: 8.30–9.30pm
TICKETS: $15 + booking fee

Artist and NAS alumnus Todd Fuller will tell the incredible true tale of Captain Moonlite, a notorious bushranger and inmate of the convict-built Darlinghurst Gaol, and his lover James Nesbitt.

Fuller will lead a tour of the historic National Art School site, ending with a special screening of his animated artwork recounting the affair of Moonlite and Nesbitt.

After the tour, grab a drink from our Moonlite Bar – open for a limited time during Queer Contemporary.

moonlight 8


LOCATION: Cell Block Theatre
DATE: Friday 28 February
TIME: 6.30–10pm
TICKETS: $20 General admission, $15 Concession/NAS Student

Discover Australia’s most subversive and boldly original queer poets at our raucous poetry competition. Our slammers tell us what matters as we heat up the historic Cell Block Theatre with words of protest, love, rage and power. With a special guest host and some guest performances throughout the Slam, we’ve got the night before Mardi Gras Parade completely covered.

Poets and guests announced closer to event date.

Add on to your poetry slam experience with our Moonlite pop-up bar, Print with Pride workshop and a curator’s tour of Mistfit: Collage and queer practice and i hate my dad.




LOCATION: Rayner Hoff Project Space
DATES: Saturday 22 February
TIME: 1–2pm
TICKETS: Free, drop-in

Join artists from Misfit: Collage and queer practice for an insight into their practices.

Paul Yore, Mother Tongue 2017 (detail) mixed media textile, beads, buttons,
sequins, acrylic, enamel, watercolour and found objects, 348 x 212 cm (irreg).
Image courtesy and © the artist. Photo: Devon Ackermann


LOCATION: Seminar Room, Building 11 (next to the Misfit exhibition)
DATE: Saturday 22 February
TIME: 3–4.30pm
TICKETS: Free, booking required

Inspired by themes of fragmentation and transformation in Misfit: collage and queer practice, Buddist monk Bhante Akāliko will lead a discussion about queer, trans and intersex identities in Buddhism.

Discover how specific Buddhist meditation techniques use methods similar to collage by dividing the body into parts and processes in order to investigate the nature of self. These meditations help shift our familiar perspective an create new understandings about our identity.

The talk will be followed by a guided meditation with Rainbodhi LGBTQIA+ Buddhist Community.




LOCATION: Rayner Hoff Project Space and NAS Library Stairwell Gallery
DATES: Friday 28 February, 6–7pm; Saturday 29 February, 1–2pm
TICKETS: Free, drop in

Join curator Scott Elliot for an exhibition tour of Misfit: Collage and queer practice, followed by a tour of i hate my dad, led by curator and NAS third-year student Fergus Berney-Gibson

Paul Yore, Mother Tongue 2017 (detail) mixed media textile, beads, buttons,
sequins, acrylic, enamel, watercolour and found objects, 348 x 212 cm (irreg).
Image courtesy and © the artist. Photo: Devon Ackermann



LOCATION: Building 11
DATE: Saturday 22 February
TIME: 10am–3pm
TICKETS: $120 + booking fee
Suitable for all skill levels

Take the evidence of our civilisation into your own hands, and make it serve your desires. Old books are the legacy of obsolete culture: in this workshop you will learn to eviscerate them and build glorious new messages for the future from their remains.

In this one-day workshop, learn how to make collages that revisit, remix and re-imagine history with artist Deborah Kelly – currently exhibiting in Misfit: Collage and queer practice.

Participants must arrive on time, but are welcome to leave as they choose.

Materials provided

  • Glue
  • Mats
  • Brushes
  • Knives
  • Some vintage imagery from Kelly’s personal archive


Materials required

  • Heavy, acid-free paper (350GSM) in your preferred size
  • Vintage reference books/art books/magazines with images to cut up*

About Deborah Kelly

Since 2011 Kelly has been investigating the expansion of the humble, lo-fi art of collage from private into public, from solo to social, from object to process, through open workshops around Australia, in Leipzig, London, Istanbul, Zagreb, Aarhus, Berlin and Bandung. Her new collage animation, The Gods of Tiny Things, partly produced through workshops in Bundanon, premiered at Pool Festival in Berlin and in December 2019 won Mexico City’s Dulac Avant Garde Award. Her epic collaborative collage portrait series No Human Being Is Illegal (in all our glory) toured Australia for four years and recently joined the collection of London’s Wellcome Trust, where it will be exhibited until 2029.

Deborah Kelly, Michel Loves Angelo (detail),
Work in Progress, 20 x 26 cm, 2020


LOCATION: Cell Block Theatre Courtyard
DATE: Saturday 22 February
TIME: 11am–2pm
TICKETS: Free, entry by donation

Screenprinting has been used as a tool of queer rebellion since the early days of LGBTQIA+ liberation. Learn about this medium through a drop-in workshop led by third-year printmaking students at the National Art School.

Bring old clothing or paper to upcycle with a protest print for a small donation.

After the workshop, join us for a performance by Misfit artist, Brian Fuata.

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