Tag Archives: LGBT

Mardi Gras Parade 2008

Boys on Bikes

The peak of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival for the public is definitely the parade. The vibe starts to kick in when people come in early to Oxford Street in order to get the best spots to see the floats. Once the roads are closed for the march, more and more audiences pile up outside the barricades whereas the show are being prepared inside. The lucky ones who reside on the buildings along the streets can watch the glamour from above while the crowd further away from the actual parade gets wilder and wilder as the night goes along. The community has successfully thrown another party to the city which seems to be hungry for decadence.

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Mardi Gras Harbour Party

Mardi Gras Harbour Party 2008

A rainbow flag of a boat flying with Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the background.

Another major event of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival and the last key party before the final Mardi Gras Dance Party rolls in, Mardi Gras Harbour Party, Sol Y Luna.

The simple concept is just having fun while watching sunset in Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens with Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House in the background. Moreover, it is special this year when two cruise liners, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth 2, rendezvous. And this is the last time that QE2 cruises in the Harbour before her retirement.

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Mardi Gras: the Slide Show 2007 Retrospective

Trannie George Bush

George Bush impersonation at Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade 2007

It is my little dream comes true to have my works exhibited at Australian Centre for Photography even though it is just a part of the slide show of Mardi Gras: the Slide Show last year. Quote from the press release:

Last Mardi Gras season, a group of budding photographers drawn from Sydney College of the Arts and the Sydney Photobloggers group (who reside at flickr.com) were brought together by Robert McGrath of MG Photographic with the aim of capturing the originality and exuberance of Sydney’s Mardi Gras season.

Morgan Carpenter says that my photos have changed over the year. It is essential to explore retrospectively on your own works to see how it has shaped in a period of time. This small exhibition gives me a chance to look back at myself and I start having a flashback.

Late 2006 I suffered from a drawback feeling. Things went not too well on the year for all sorts of reasons. And I found that that my photography was stale, especially in the contents. So I decided to have a theme to focus on. The idea was to capture Sydney’s diversity through its community events and celebrations.

I was looking at Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras to kick off the concept. Fortunately, Mardi Gras: the Slide Show was looking for a handful of photographers via Sydney Photobloggers Group for the project. My Fair Day series impressed the producer, Robert McGrath and got me in.

Best of all, this art project gave the photographers their own space to express the creativities. The event pushed my limits technically and creatively as I tried to approach it different ways from what I saw Mardi Gras photographs and from my own comfort zone. The day after I was still exhausted mentally and physically. The award from the project was just an extra, the experience that I could share to the larger audience and got me this far was the real deal.

Damien Eames, Head of Brand and Creative Strategy at Mardi Gras says.

For the first time I feel we have a body of work that can convey the complex magic of Mardi Gras to those who’ve never experienced it directly.

The Slide Show is presented at Video Lounge, Australian Centre for Photography until 8 March.

Mardi Gras Fair Day 2008

Rainbow Boy

Fair Day is one of the key events of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. It is actually the most inclusive and diverse program of the festival. Kids run around with their straight and gay parents. Dogs sniff and play with others. Friends and families drink and BBQ together while watching stage entertainments. Dressed-up queens gracefully glide to demonstrate their pride of beauty. Half-naked men and, sometime, women lie on the ground, flirt with each others and finally end up on the dance floor.

Although it does not sound different from previous years, essentially, this social event is for the people to hang around in Victoria Park for a picnic as one community once a year.

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The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show

The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show

It’s dark, kinky and funny. The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show is the Aussie extreme adaptation of this classic puppet show. This medley of sex and murder scenes portrays the violence and turns into a cabaret as if out of this world. On the other hand, they could be found in the news everyday: wife beating, child raping, gay bashing and so on.

No wonder why I felt very intense after the first time visiting this play as a photographer on the final run-through. While I was concentrating on visions through the camera, the violence came straight into my brain without diluting with punch lines. It is comedy, anyhow. Once I saw it again as an audience on the opening night, I could laugh with its wits and outrages. Surreal tone went along perfectly with the wacky performances. Especially, the cover version of Aussie pop classic was the most adorable.

The Fabulous Punch and Judy Show is a part of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival 2008 and currently playing at Cleveland Street Theatre until 29 February.

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