Greg Taylor, artist
Melbourne sculptor Greg Taylor is no stranger to controversy.
His public sculpture ‘Down by the Lake with Phil and Liz’, a nude portrait, was destroyed beyond recognition by vandals when exhibited publicly and resulted in his ejection from RMIT in his final year of study.
‘Peep Show’, a deeply evocative portrait of a woman forced to sell her body for survival, spent Opening Night at Melbourne’s Art Fair covered in a sheet before the artist was called the next morning and asked to remove it. Other works include ‘Training a Woman to Perform like a Seal’ and ‘If the Boots don’t fit’ – a portrait of John Winston Howard playing dress-ups with a WW1 digger’s uniform.
Taylor’s latest and perhaps most controversial work, ‘CUNTS and Other Conversations’, portrays over one hundred and forty life-sized porcelain vulvas, cast from exquisite hand built sculptures. The exhibition had a preview show as CUNTS at the Meat Market Craft Centre in Melbourne, Australia in February 2008 and then opened as CUNTS and Other Conversations on February 25, 2009 as part of the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2009. An edition of the sculptures have been purchased by the Museum of Old and New (MONA).
Yana Alana, performer
Yana Alana is the latest incarnation of singer, actor, composer, writer, rapper, clown, activist, cabaret artist and musical director Sarah Ward.
Yana Alana And Tha Paranas first performed their hit show ‘Bite Me’ at The Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2007 where they received the ‘Best Cabaret Award’. From there they went on to perform at The Midsumma Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival and The Adelaide Feast Festival all to sell out audiences. The same year they were nominated for seven Green Room Awards including best show and best cabaret artist where Anni Davey picked up the Best Director award. Later in 2008 they reworked their show with the burlesque superstars The Town Bikes for the Melbourne Arts Centre Full Tilt program and created ‘Bite Me Harder’. This season was a huge sell out success and received rave reviews.
In 2009 Yana Alana And Tha Paranas performed their cult hit show ‘Bite Me’ for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival which won the Green Room Award for Best Cabaret Act. 2009 will also see the release of their EP ‘A Bit Of Bite’ and they plan to travel their act overseas. Yana Alana And Tha Paranas are currently writing their new show.
“Yana Alana was born from red wine, laughter with friends and late night spots at queer venues. Her poetry was scribbled on the backs of envelopes in trams and trains and in line at centrelink. Her songs were written while walking between job interviews or after therapy. She is a reason for me to wear heels and feel like I mean it, an excuse to spit my politics with no shame and a way to make enemies” Sarah Ward
Photos of Sarah Ward in this website’s banner are by Ponch Hawkes, with the exception of the live concert.
Virgina Braun, social scientist
Virginia Braun is an academic and a critical feminist psychologist at the University of Auckland. Her research considers the intersections between the individual and the social, applied to the particular areas of sex, sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing, and gendered bodies.
She has been working specifically in the area of women’s genitalia for well over a decade, first conducting her PhD (at Loughborough University in the UK) on women’s experiences and sociocultural meanings around women’s genitalia, and subsequently researching around the discourse, promotion and practice of female genital cosmetic surgery.
She specialises in qualitative research methodologies, also teaching in this area. She is co-editor of the journal Feminism & Psychology (published by Sage, UK). Visit Virginia’s University of Auckland webpage.
Jennifer Greer Holmes, art publicist
A passion for art, media and politics have provided Jennifer with extensive experience in media, writing, photography, curation, community cultural development, event management and niche marketing.
From running historical election campaigns and managing Australia’s leading queer arts festival to starting a publicity and artist management business, Ooh Lala says, she feels like everything she has done up until now has prepared her well for the role of publicist to Greg Taylor, and his exhibition “Cunts…and other conversations”.
Jennifer is a feminist and new media activist… which is just a fancy way of saying she’s always banging on about grrl stuff on facebook and recently learnt how to make cool mobile phone content to bluetooth unsuspecting members of the public.
Bo Kitty, sitter
Bo Ghetto Kitty isn’t really ashamed of much. To her life is a constant process of gathering experiences and knowledge with as much voracity as possible. She works in the entertainment industry doing marketing and events; teaches event management; writes often but hates the word ‘poetry’; makes art from a variety of mediums; collects tattoos, my little ponies, weird toys and crystals. She also practices chaos magic and honesty at all costs and loves confronting things in general, especially if it involves a good debate. Visit Bo’s website.
Sarah Jameson, sitter
Born 1952 UK, Sarah immigrated to Sydney, Australia 1957 aged 5 as a Ten Pound Pom. Grew up in Sydney in the bushy northern suburbs. Odd jobbed after high school, travelled overseas for a year, did various secretarial jobs, and worked for 3 years teaching in the Business studies program Volunteers Abroad in Malaysia, before studying Art in Perth. There Sarah drew from the life model and modelled myself.
As a nudist at the Perth beach Swanbourne, Sarah was very comfortable with nudity. Continued with art education and now teaches art in the secondary school sector in Victoria. Sarah teaches life drawing to adults and secondary school students and uses the Life Model Society (for whom she has modeled) to hire models for her classes. She has a PhD in Photography at RMIT.