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Just Launched: Absolutely Queer for Sydney WorldPride 2023

Mardi Gras costumes by Renè Rivas in Absolutely Queer.February 17, 2023

Image: Mardi Gras costumes by Renè Rivas in Absolutely Queer. Photograph: Zan Wimberley.


Powerhouse today unveiled Absolutely Queer, an exhibition celebrating contemporary queer creativity for Sydney WorldPride 2023.

The exhibition showcases the work of Sydney’s leading LGBTQIA+ artists, designers, makers and performers. Creatives include Matthew Aberline and Maurice Goldberg from The Beautiful and Useful Studio whose large-scale colourful inflatable installations invite a playful exploration of powerful themes; Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist Dennis Golding whose work critiques social, political and cultural representations of race and identity; video game developers, animators and illustrators Scott Ford and Peter Foley of Fuzzy Ghost; and multi-disciplinary artist Justin Shoulder who uses his body and craft to forge connections between queer, migrant, spiritual and intercultural experiences.

They are joined by gender and body diverse fashion house Nicol & Ford founded by Katie-Louise and Timothy Nicol-Ford whose conceptual demi-couture collections seek to redress queer erasure; designer Nikita Majajas of pop art jewellery brand Doodad + Fandango with her wife, international DJ Charlie Villas; social justice activist and cartoonist Norrie, a trail-blazing transgender advocate; multi-award-winning Mardi Gras costume designer Renè Rivas whose spectacular creations promote social cohesion; and legendary drag king Sexy Galexy, whose glamorous thirty-year stage career has been highly influential in forging a new modern take on drag, evolving beyond male impersonation.

Acknowledging the legacy and ongoing influence of pioneering queer creatives, the exhibition also includes seminal Mardi Gras and Sleaze Ball costumes from the Powerhouse collection, including works by Brenton Heath-Kerr, Ron Muncaster, Brian Ross and Peter Tully.

‘We are so excited by this extraordinary exhibition curated by Powerhouse. I am thrilled that these incredible LGBTQIA+ artists, performers and designers will be profiled during this global event. It is a highlight on the WorldPride Arts calendar, which is a curated program of over 70 arts events as part of Sydney WorldPride,’ said Daniel Clarke, Sydney WorldPride Festival Creative Director – WorldPride Arts.

Absolutely Queer follows in the footsteps of previous Powerhouse exhibitions Absolutely Mardi Gras (1996), HIV and AIDS 30 Years On: The Australian Story (2012) and 40 Years of Fabulousness (2018) in reflecting Australia’s contemporary queer histories.

‘Powerhouse has had a long commitment to collecting and documenting queer histories. As Sydney plays host to the biggest LGBTQIA+ festival in the world, we are so excited to welcome the queer community to the Powerhouse,’ said Powerhouse Chief Executive Lisa Havilah.



Powerhouse in association with Sydney WorldPride presents:

22 February 2023, 7pm (sold out)
Alice Motion and Alexis Weaver present an experiment in collective sound, inviting audiences to become a part of the Atomic Choir to create an album of some of science’s greatest hits. Witness a star spectrum performance with artist Emily Parsons-Lord and explore the night sky through telescopes in our courtyard, accompanied by sets from local DJs.

23 February 2023, 5pm
Sydney’s diverse and vibrant LGBTQIA+ communities take over the iconic Powerhouse Transport Hall with live music and performances curated by Jonny Seymour and Paul Mac, and drinks by Sydney institution The Bearded Tit.

2 March 2023, 5pm
A deep dive into the creative process of the artists featured in Absolutely Queer along with other iconic Sydney queer creatives, featuring curator-led exhibition tours, a jewellery workshop, a drag performance showcase, a storytelling experience, music and live performance.

View the full program here

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Clio Ellis | Powerhouse
0450 492 745

About Powerhouse
Powerhouse sits at the intersection of arts, design, science and technology and plays a critical role in engaging communities with contemporary ideas and issues. We are undertaking a landmark $1.4 billion infrastructure renewal program, spearheaded by the creation of the flagship museum, Powerhouse Parramatta; expanded research and public facilities at Powerhouse Castle Hill; the renewal of the iconic Powerhouse in Ultimo; and the ongoing operation of Sydney Observatory. The museum is custodian to over half a million objects of national and international significance and is considered one of the finest and most diverse collections in Australia. We are also undertaking an expansive digitisation project that will provide new levels of access to Powerhouse collections.

About Sydney WorldPride 2023
Sydney WorldPride is a mega Mardi Gras festival taking place from 17 February to 5 March 2023. Over 17 days, Sydney will host more than 300 LGBTQIA+ events, including Rainbow Republic presented by Optus, Ultra Violet and Live and Proud: Sydney WorldPride Opening Concert, as well as the much-loved Mardi Gras Parade, which will be returning to Oxford Street for the first time in three years.