The Victorian Pride Centre is now home for the permanent installation of Peter Waples-Crowe’s possum cloak artwork, Ngarigo Queen – Cloak of Queer Visibility.
Originally commissioned by the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (Melbourne), The Victorian Pride Centre was able to secure the cloak thanks to a grant by the Alfred Felton Trust, who also funded a bespoke cabinet to be created to conserve the artwork.
Artist Peter Waples-Crowe:
“Ngarigo Queen – Cloak of Queer Visibility is a statement about standing up for yourself and your Mob when the world is trying to erase you. The work takes the form of the possum skin cloak, a traditional cultural belonging from the South East of Australia and brings it to the forefront of queer activism. It queers Aboriginal traditions that were erased by the strict religious heterosexual gaze of colonisation, as represented by the crucifix sewn into the cloak using different colour furs. It’s a cross of oppression that stopped us from practicing our own culture and erased our sexual and gender diversities.”
Victorian Pride Centre Chair, Hang Vo:
“Having a queer possum cloak at the Pride Centre, created by LGBTIQ+ Ngarigo artist Peter Waples-Crowe, that embraces the rainbow and the Ngarigo symbols of the artist’s heritage, represented an opportunity to symbolically connect the new Pride Centre with our aboriginal heritage in Australia and position the Pride Centre as a place that honours and acknowledges, and is a home for LGBTIQ+ Indigenous peoples.”
The artwork can be viewed ongoing on the Ground Floor of the Pride Centre, adjacent to the Pride Gallery.
Artwork featured: Ngarigo Queen – Cloak of Queer Visibility by Peter Waples-Crowe. Cabinet designed by Gamut. Image credit: Luke David Photography