Newcastle Museum exhibition celebrates diversity and depth of creative talent in community

06 Jul 2022

A scholarship program designed to foster emerging talent within Newcastle's creative community will culminate in a month-long exhibition of LGBTIQ+ artists at Newcastle Museum.

Curated by Jasmine Fletcher, a non-binary multidisciplinary artist and founder of not-for-profit events organisation Queer and Now, Unabbreviated will showcase 32 LGBTIQ+ creatives from the Hunter and Central Coast, who work across a range of mediums including painting, textile, drawing, print making, mixed media works and written responses.

The exhibition forms part of Jasmine's 12-month Roost Creative Scholarship, which is designed to enable emerging creatives to explore, refine and connect with established creative professionals in Newcastle.

The scholarship is delivered by not-for-profit creative organisation and co-working space, The Roost, with support from Newcastle Museum, The Business Centre and Imprint Newcastle.

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen will help officially open Unabbreviated at a special event on Thursday 7 July and said the exhibition showcases the breadth of talent and diversity within our community.

"City of Newcastle has demonstrated a long held and consistent advocacy for Newcastle as a diverse and inclusive city, and proud activism in support of our LGBTIQ+ community," Cr Clausen said.

"Hosting this exhibition at Newcastle Museum is another great way to help foster inclusivity and celebrate our diverse community while also highlighting the depth of creative talent in our region."

Newcastle Museum Director Julie Baird said the exhibition, which will be displayed in the 'A Newcastle Story' gallery, has strong links to the Museum's overarching 2022/23 programming theme of 'Fluidity' and would encourage new perspectives on the diversity of identity in our community.

"A Newcastle Story provides a space for Novocastrians and visitors to discover answers to how and why we are a distinct and fascinating community, making it the ideal place to reflect on the importance of identity and inclusiveness," Ms Baird said.

"It is necessary to acknowledge people who are not afforded the same rights for who they love, how they look or what they believe in. To exist outside the norm is the ultimate rebellion.

"Unabbreviated acknowledges and celebrates creatives that would not usually exhibit together in this context and is a wonderful addition to A Newcastle Story."

Jasmine said Newcastle lacks permanent spaces for LGBTIQ+ community to connect and believed this exhibition, although temporary, would help foster social connections, visibility and representation, which is invaluable to the wellbeing of people who are a part of this community.

"Unabbreviated showcases sexual and gender diverse people and aims to focus on the creative practice of the individual, it does not attempt to classify or address the queer experience," Jasmine said.

"By celebrating LGBTIQ+ artists, makers and creators, Unabbreviated creates an opportunity to feature works, share their stories and start important conversations."

Unabbreviated will open to the public from 6pm on Thursday 7 July and run until 31 July.