Queer PHOTO: Groundbreaking LGBTQIA+ Showcase takes over Melbourne’s west


    Dr Richard Orjis

    Melbourne’s west, renowned for its rich diversity and multiculturalism, is poised to become the vibrant backdrop for queer expression with the advent of Queer PHOTO, a groundbreaking initiative presented by Midsumma Festival and PHOTO 2024. In collaboration with Creative Victoria’s Go West program, the event aims to convert iconic venues and the streets of the West into a visually striking gallery of LGBTQIA+ artworks from January 27 to March 24.

    Queer PHOTO boasts a lineup featuring 17 artists, 14 exhibitions, and 30 interactive events, spanning across 7 locations. This ambitious program strives to make queer art accessible and highly visible, showcasing the talent of LGBTQIA+ artists from Australia and around the globe.

    Queer PHOTO is a diverse celebration embracing First Nations, Pasifika, Blak, people of colour, and immigrant communities. The program encapsulates a dynamic blend of contemporary expression, including the incorporation of artificial intelligence.

    Among the local artists, Peter Waples-Crowe shares his perspective on participating in the showcase “Being part of Queer PHOTO is about the visibility of my intersectional identities. It’s an opportunity to be affirmed in a public space and voice my concerns and gratitude through a visual language.” His work, Affirm, will premiere at Werribee Train Station, drawing from Waples-Crowe’s experiences of adoption, community health work, and reconnecting with his Ngarigo heritage.

    Queer PHOTO extends beyond geographical boundaries, featuring artists like FAFSWAG from Aotearoa/New Zealand, Luce Nguyễn Hunt blending Vietnamese, Sāmoan, and Rarotongan cultures, and Rômy Pacquing McCoy, a queer Ilocano-Visayan and Austrian artist living with climate-induced disability.

    The artists were tasked with envisioning the future and exploring how the present shapes the reality for future queer generations. PHOTO 2024 Curator Brendan McCleary expresses excitement about the exhibition showcasing the ways in which queer voices contribute to shaping a better tomorrow.

    With events spread across galleries, parks, and a historic mansion in Melbourne’s west, Queer PHOTO invites visitors to immerse themselves in the unique narratives presented by the artists. Pace is encouraged, allowing ample time for absorption and reflection. Curated conversations and communal spaces offer opportunities to share experiences with like-minded individuals.

    Queer PHOTO stands as a vibrant testament to the power of art in creating inclusive narratives and envisioning a future where diverse voices shape a more accepting world. 

    Dr Richard Orjis, an artist, curator, and educator, who works in visual and public arts in the west.

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

    Your feedback

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here



    Latest Articles

    Latest edition

    #96 May 2024

    Recent editions



    Become a supporter

    The Westsider is run on the power of volunteers. Your contribution directly contributes to ensuring we can continue serving and celebrating our community.

    Related articles