The Unflinching Gaze: photomedia and the male figure was an exhibition that explored depictions of the male figure over the past 140 years. Exhibited in Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (BRAG), the exhibition was a partnership project with BRAG and the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art in New York. It sought to build new understandings of representing the male figure, bring challenging art to new audiences, and to raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ issues in regional New South Wales.
UTS DAB researchers Professor Peter McNeil and Dr Christine Dean consulted for one year with curator Richard Perram OAM to bring the project to life. They also wrote the two catalogue essays, McNeil’s an historical overview of issues in picturing men, including in the NSW Gold Rushes, and Dean on transgender issues in the visual arts.
Audiences were encouraged to respond to the physical beauty of the exhibition and to engage in a discussion of social issues as they relate to the LGBTQIA+ community. As well as reaching out to LGBTQIA+ communities around Australia, the work was a bespoke tourism experience in an important regional hub and brought a world-class photo-media exhibition to Bathurst. It received national media attention in the press and radio.
For their work on The Unflinching Gaze, McNeil and Dean received the 2018 UTS Human Rights Ally Award. Exhibition and associated catalogue won Best Exhibition Prize 2018 from Museums and Galleries New South Wales.
Distinguished Professor Peter McNeil
Dr Christine Dean
Richard Perram OAM
Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art, New York