‘Ad Homonem’ by David Thai, and ‘Different flowers from the same field’ by Lisa Ray

The Victorian Pride Centre is excited to announce the opening of photographic exhibitions ‘Ad Homonem’ by David Thai, and ‘Different flowers from the same field’ by Lisa Ray – both on display from November 8, 2022, to January 17, 2023.

These two distinct but complementary exhibitions depict organic forms in evocative, profound, and contrasting ways:

‘Ad Homonem’ is a surrealist depiction of experiences navigating the gay dating scene as a person of colour. Using still-life imagery loaded with symbolism and pop-culture references, David Thai explores and pokes fun at the quirks, intricacies and struggles of dating while bringing to light the toxicity pervasive within the queer community. Each image expresses an internal dialogue in which Thai questions these cultural norms while pondering his own identity.

‘Different flowers from the same field’ by Lisa Ray is about the relationship between artist and flora, and recognising that people and plants have individual ‘energetic signatures’. Ray’s images combine to create more than just a feast for the eyes – they provide warmth for the soul. They serve as a reminder that we each have our own unique beauty, expression, and energy, yet prompt us to remember that we are all different flowers from the same field.

Exhibitions at the Victorian Pride Centre are programmed by our Visual Arts Working Group, which is composed of artists and other arts professionals who work collaboratively to curate a year-round calendar of artists and works that reflect the rich diversity of LGBTIQ+ communities in Victoria.

David Thai:

“As a queer person of colour, to have my work exhibited at the Pride Centre is an acknowledgment that I have the right and audacity to take up space; to be forthcoming with my voice; to instill confidence in my ability; and to feel empowered in my identity as a gay man.”

Lisa Ray:

“I am incredibly grateful to have my work included for exhibition at the Victorian Pride Centre. It has inspired me to continue co-creating with the subjects of my work, whilst expressing out into the world more of who I am and the essence that moves through me. In turn, might it inspire others to do the same.”

Jane Crawley, Chair of the Visual Arts Working Group:

“Welcome to ‘Ad Homonem’ and ‘Different Flowers from the same field’, our upcoming show at the Pride Centre. On behalf of the Visual Arts Working Group, I thank David Thai and Lisa Ray for sharing their work – taking up the invitation to utilise this most special building as a space for temporary creative works. We’re so proud to work with and champion LGBTIQ+ creatives and our myriad of cultures.”

Justine Dalla Riva, CEO Victorian Pride Centre:

“It is wonderful to host David Thai and Lisa Ray’s thought-provoking and emotive exhibitions in the Pride Gallery – a space to amplify the voices and lived experiences from across our LGBTIQ+ communities.”

About artist David Thai:

David is a photographic artist whose practice focuses on communicating queer culture and experiences through the composition of surreal still-life imagery. His visual constructions play with the symbolism embedded in everyday objects and invites audiences to interrogate queer social norms.

About artist Lisa Ray:

Lisa Ray is a photographer whose work imbues a quality of tranquility and presence. Residing in Melbourne, Lisa received her BA in Photography from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in 2007. Alongside working as a commercial photographer, for the past 15 years Lisa has been creating and exhibiting her personal work, including twice being a finalist in the prestigious Nillumbik Prize.

Images: ‘Unsolicited’ by David Thai; ‘Yellow Orchid – Body’ by Lisa Ray