Gary Lee: Middling (Larrakia: Together)
Curated by Maurice O’Riordan
Opening Saturday 2 March 2024
Exhibition runs 1 to 29 March 2024
In parallel to Mardi Gras Festival and Biennale of Sydney
The Cross Art Projects presents Middling (Larrakia: Together), a selection of new and remade works by Gary Lee. Drawing on the artist’s personal archive of historic family photographs and artworks (photo-based and illustration), the exhibition brings together key strands of a practice which redefines notions of cultural identity, masculinity and beauty from a Larrakia perspective.
The exhibition is a stage for the Sydney launch of Heat: Gary Lee, selected texts, art & anthropology (2023). The anthology edited by Maurice O’Riordan—who also curates the exhibition—spans five decades of Lee’s writing on art, his own and others, and Larrakia and Indigenous culture.
Image: Heat: Gary Lee, selected texts, art & anthropology, (2023) Gary Lee, Self-portrait with Manish (detail), 2003, from Skinseries. Courtesy and © Gary Lee
About the artist
Based in Garramilla / Darwin, Gary Lee is a Larrakia artist, curator, writer, and anthropologist. Lee also has affinities to the Wardaman (NT) and Karajarri peoples (WA). An anthropologist by training (Australian National University) Lee has, since 1993, embarked on a photographic project focusing on male portraiture, which explores the nexus of culture, ethnicity and masculinity, particularly among ‘everyday’ boys/men. His work has been included in many significant exhibitions, most recently Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia at Art Gallery of WA (2021-22) and QUEER: Stories from the NGV Collection, National Gallery of Victoria (2022). In 2022 Gary Lee won the Telstra NATSIAA Work on Paper Award for a delicate hand-painted photographic portrait of his Nagi (Larrakia: maternal grandfather).