Event Queer Spaces, Collaboration, and Generating Community in Brisbane

Queer Spaces, Collaboration, and Generating Community in Brisbane

01 May 2021

How can we imagine a collective queer future? In a discussion facilitated by 4ZZZ’s Dykes on Mykes, hear from current exhibiting artist Tay Haggarty, Shandy Party’s Thomas Parer, and members of FERN collective Mo Chan and Shelley Cheng.


Guest Info
  • Mo Chan is an abstract make-up artist, visual artist, writer, and community event organiser. They are a migrant-settler currently based on Yuggera country. They are the creator of the platform FERN collective, through which they have co-organised events such as Radical Love, Conversations of Care, and Shift. Through their art and space-making, they have a particular interest in creating spaces of vulnerability, complexity, and pleasure. They are currently interested in building the foundations of collective care, harm reduction, and safety, to steer away from carceral institutions and mechanisms.

    Shelley Cheng is a migrant-settler living and working on unceded Yuggera and Turrbal land. They are a multi-disciplinary emerging artist and writer. Shelley has exhibited and performed across Meanjin (Brisbane) in solo and group shows including Ctrl+Alt+Del (2018), Where are you from? (2019), Radical Love (2020), HWY Festival (2020) and more. Their written work appears in Overland Literary Journal, Wear Your Voice Magazine, Mamamia, and other platforms. They are currently completing their law and journalism degree and undertaking an artist residency at Visible Ink.

    Ruth Gardner (from Dykes on Mykes) is professional guitar player, songwriter/composer, comedic performer, radio announcer, and event producer with over 20 years of visibility in the artistic landscape of Brisbane. She is a two-time Brisbane Pride Queen’s Ball Awards winner (Media Personality of the Year), for her work on 4zzzFM. She has been a QLD finalist in the national RAW Comedy Competition, MC for the QLD Poetry Festival, Vulcana Women’s Circus, QLD Cabaret Festival and the 2017 & 2018 Queensland Music Awards. Her one woman show, “Ruth: The Musical” was a sell out at the 2015 Brisbane Powerhouse Melt Festival. As a producer, Ruth has most notably produced the largest LGBT event in QLD for several years, Big Gay Day hosted at the Wickham Hotel. She has also produced the sold-out MELT Festival Beauty Pageant 2017–2019 for the Brisbane Powerhouse, co-produced Qweens on King in the 2018 Brisbane Festival, Travelled Tongues for the 2016 QLD Poetry Festival, and prides herself on popping on the producers hat mostly for events that aim to enhance the cultural landscape, build community, and showcase the unique and sometimes untapped talent in diverse communities.

    Tay Haggarty’s exhibition LINK is currently on display the IMA. Thier practice explores how reductive forms can be used as an open field to reflect upon personal and shared experience. These investigations take the form of collaborations, performances, videos, installations and sculpture.

    Haggarty is a co-director of CLUTCH collective and is one half of the collaborative duo Parallel Park. They have exhibited locally within various group shows at spaces such as Metro Arts, Outer Space ARI and Box copy, and has had solo shows at Oral ARI, Kunstbunker ARI and Wreckers Artspace. Haggarty has also shown interstate at FELT space in Perth and West Space in Melbourne as well as internationally at the Ildiko Butler Gallery in New York. They were the 2019 recipient of the Jeremy Hynes Award.

    Thomas Parer is a DJ (aka Sweaty Baby) and creative producer. He started Shandy in early 2019 in an effort to address the atomised nature of the queer community in Meanjin, and to create somewhere to feel free. He is passionate about creating safer spaces which foster connection through partying and believes that the dancefloor can serve as a means to achieve liberation via sweaty, passionate dancing.

Tay Haggarty and Marisa Georgiou 'Link'. Photo: Marc Pricop.

Related Exhibition

Tay Haggarty


10 Apr–05 Jun 2021

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The Institute of Modern Art acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the IMA now stands, the Jagera, Yuggera, Yugarapul, and Turrbal people. We offer our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first artists of this country. In the spirit of allyship, the IMA will continue to work with First Nations people to celebrate, support, and present their immense past, present, and future contribution to artistic practice and cultural expression.