The Huxleys and Paul Yore

This month, as part of Sydney Festival and Sydney WorldPride celebrations, Carriageworks in Redfern is hosting two exciting exhibitions – ‘Bloodlines’ by flamboyant artist duo The Huxleys (Will Huxley and Garrett Huxley) and ‘WORD MADE FLESH’ by multidisciplinary artist Paul Yore.

The Huxleys, Leigh, 2022, Giclèe archival print, 106 x 106cm. Courtesy the artists and Carriageworks

Under a sparkling rainbow of shimmering colour, glitzy glamour and hybrid masquerade, The Huxleys will immerse viewers in their playful risqué humour, phantasmagorical imagination, fun and frivolity, while Paul Yore’s kaleidoscopic ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ styled installation crafted to architectural scale will draw viewers into the artist’s vision for an alternative queer world.

Until 5 March, in their biggest exhibition to date, The Huxleys will shine their collaborative pizazz on the lives and legacies of legendary queer artists whose lives were lost to HIV/AIDS. The showcase features a series of large-scale photographic portraits of The Huxleys in their wild and whacky hybrid character costumes accompanied by just as elaborate video work and disco music.

This special tribute exhibition draws inspiration from the creativity, personas and activism of renowned queer artists such as performance artist and fashion designer Leigh Bowery, American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, graffiti artist Keith Haring, and disco, soul, rhythm and blues singer-songwriter Sylvester, who each played a part in nurturing queer visibility and freedom through their own creative pathways and voices in their time.

Paul Yore, WORD MADE FLESH, 2022 (detail), Carriageworks. Photograph: Zan Wimberley. Courtesy the artist and Carriageworks

A select component of work from Paul Yore’s exhibition ‘WORD MADE FLESH’, originally commissioned by Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) is on view until 26 February. Yore’s artistic practice responds to political themes – in particular hyper-capitalism, religion and the LGBTQIA+ experience, which the artist brings to visualisation in a riot of colour, shape and form inspired by classical Greek art, Flemish and French tapestries, cartoons, pop-culture, psychedelic aesthetics, and historical painting.

‘WORD MADE FLESH’ is composed of collected objects, text-based slogans, phallic and other symbols, geometrical patterning, collage and assemblage, applique, painting, video, sound and light. ACCA explains, ‘The immersive installation imagines a queer alternative reality, erected from the wasteland of the Anthropocene, performatively implicating itself into the debased spectacle of hyper-capitalist society.’

‘Bloodlines and WORD MADE FLESH’ coincide with major milestone celebrations for the LGBTQIA+ community in 2023, including the first WorldPride festival event in the Southern Hemisphere since its global beginnings in Rome in 2000, the golden anniversary of Gay Pride Week celebrating 50 years of LGBTQIA+ resilience, visibility and achievement; the 45th anniversary of the inaugural 1978 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras – an heroic and pivotal moment in the history of gay and civil rights in Australia; and the success of the YES vote for Australian Marriage Equality now celebrating five years. It’s epic!

A ‘Stitch n Bitch’ session on 14 January with The Huxleys invites members of the public to lend their hand to the creation of the Bloodlines Quilt in the company of special guest, Australian photographer and influential voice of the LGBTQIA+ community, William Yang. Inspired by the AIDS Memorial quilts created in the 1980’s and 1990’s, this collaborative work will become an historical patchwork of queer stories both past and present. A second workshop will take place on 25 February. Click here for ‘Stitch n Bitch’ particulars and to register your interest in being part of this momentous occasion.

Free Bloodlines Guided Tours with The Huxleys will take place on Sunday 15 January and Sunday 19 February from 2-3pm.

Bloodlines Quilt, The Huxleys, Bloodlines, 2022, Carriageworks. Photograph: Zan Wimberley. Courtesy the artists.

“We are incredibly proud to be supporting some of Australia’s most exciting artists at Carriageworks for Sydney Festival and Sydney WorldPride, with both new commissioned work and work presented in Sydney for the first time. Exploring themes that are at once universal and deeply personal, we can’t wait to welcome audiences onsite to experience these dynamic exhibitions,” says Carriageworks CEO Blair French.

Carriageworks welcomes visitors Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm.