A wide–reaching events programme ran alongside this public realm commission including printing workshops with local residents from Westbury Estate; a major new performance by David Hoyle; screenings of Toxic Queen and Priscilla Queen of the Desert with Out in Clapham; a talk by Professor Sally Gray; and a series of walking tours hosted by artists, writers, activists and academics.
Dr. Sally Gray on David McDiarmid
Writer and curator, Dr Sally Gray discussed the work and legacy of David McDiarmid. The talk included a screening of A Short History of Facial Hair (Hermano Silva, 2011) – an illustrated essay that McDiarmid presented at the forum HIV: Towards a Paradigm, in Melbourne in April 1993.
Rainbow Aphorisms Walking Tours
This series of walking tours invited artists, writers, activists and academics to reflect on aspects of the work of David McDiarmid, including Huw Lemmey, Paul Flynn, Rebel Dykes, Milo Bettocchi, Theo Gordon and Catwalk4Power. Using the Rainbow Aphorisms as a starting point, the tours traversed Clapham and wider South London, stopping at key sites of interest and taking a closer look at different aspects of queer culture as well as the impact and legacy of the AIDS crisis, exploring subjects ranging from pop music’s reaction to the AIDS/HIV epidemic, to the relationship between homosexuality and espionage.
Screenings of Toxic Queen (dir. Fiona Cunningham–Reid, 1998) and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (dir. Stephan Elliott 1994), Offsite at Clapham Picturehouse
Studio Voltaire partnered with Wandsworth LGBTQ+ Forum and Out at Clapham to celebrate the life and work of David McDiarmid with these screenings, which coincided with the 40th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Toxic Queen takes its title from McDiarmid’s ‘alter–ego’ and 1994 artwork of the same name. The original work was a thirty page spiral-bound book, in which McDiarmid constructed witty political statements with imagined newspaper headlines, queered magazine cuttings and photocopies. Oscar–winning film The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is a seminal Australian comedy–drama following two drag queens and a transgender woman as they journey across the Australian Outback from Sydney to Alice Springs in a battered old tour bus to put on the show of a lifetime.