Museum of Love & Protest

The Museum of Love & Protest celebrates four decades of Sydney Mardi Gras and the LGBTQI community — from the history-making marches of love and protest in 1978 to the proud and powerful 40th anniversary in 2018.

The Museum draws from the histories and archival collections created and preserved by the Mardi Gras community to present a stunning exhibition of costumes, photographs, Mardi Gras posters, rare Parade and Party footage, and specially commissioned artworks. On display at the National Art School Gallery in the heart of Darlinghurst, where Mardi Gras first came alive in 1978, the Museum invites you to contribute your own memories of Mardi Gras across time, through a Community Memory Project with costume-maker Rene Rivas in the Pink Butterfly Lounge.
NAS Gallery
National Art School
15 February - 4 March 2018

Exhibition Curator: Susan Charlton
Exhibition Design: Anna Tregloan

Museum of Love & Protest

1978 Photographers: Sally Colechin, Geoff Friend, Branco Gaica

Mardi Gras Photographers: William Yang, C.Moore Hardy, Mazz Image, Ann-Marie Calilhanna, Markham Lane

Costumes: Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Workshop, Ben Graetz/Miss Ellaneous, Simon Hunt/Pauline Pantsdown, Mark Trevorrow/Bob Downe, Tobin Saunders/Vanessa Wagner, Shane Pascoe/Joyce Maynge, Peta Friend, AJ Brown, Ted Cook, Pisa Tufuga, and wigs by Maude Boate/Michael Gates

Commissioned Artworks: Deborah Kelly, Gareth Ernst

Community Memory Project & Butterfly Lounge: Rene Rivas

Party & Parade Video Works: producer Lewis Oswald, editor Vyninka Arlow

Original David McDiarmid Artwork: ACON collection

Motor Bike: Jenny Gunther

Community  Advisors:  Katherine Wolfgramme, Tim Bishop


Interview  RN Breakfast with Fran Kelly, 16 February 2018

How the Pioneering Artists of the Mardi Gras Were Key in the Fight for Equality, Steve Dow, Sydney Morning Herald, 26 January 2018 

Forty Years of Queer History in the Spotlight, Jacqui Taffel, Wentworth Courier, 28 February 2018

'The community are artists and archivists, activists and historians. Being LGBTQI, being involved in Mardi Gras, it's absolutely about identity and the body, how people express and adorn themselves, so it's highly visual.

The floats and costumes in Mardi Gras respond to the particular social or political moment. People take that moment, reinterpret and rework it, valorise or dismantle it. They want to make a visual impact, they want to connect, and they've only got a moment [to be] burned on your eyeball.'

Susan Charlton, Sydney Morning Herald, 26 January 2018

Photographs: top Gareth Ernst; all others courtesy of National Art School