A terrace house gallery down the bottom end of Bourke Street in Woolloomooloo is currently the first stop to take your out of town guests if you’re trying to describe to them the heart of our Mardi Gars for the last thirty years. The House of Loose Ends is a photographic exhibition by Richard Hedger inspired by the Loose Ends club night but captures a whole lot more of queer Sydney heart!
For the greater part of my long community association many OS friends have told me how lucky we are here in Sydney that all queer tribes come together as one, sometimes we use the family word, and not just in February. Certainly through the 80’s and 90’s that aspect of our community was more evident, and whilst we seem to have more specific tribe choices now, thankfully I still find enough pockets of ‘queer together’ to maintain that notion.
One of these pockets is the Loose Ends dance floor, home to a whole lot of fun in the underground of Sydney's queer scene for the last 5 years. Bringing together a truly mixed crowd and a fiercely eclectic mix of sounds, Sunday nights at Phoenix shaken and stirred by DJ Matt Vaughan – another must do experience for everyone who shares this ‘queer together’ inclination.
At the exhibition opening Richard told me his motivation to create this exhibition tribute to Loose Ends was born of an idea that he wanted to document party people that he’d met at the club night that he says saved his Sydney social life. “I have lived in Sydney now for 6 years (originally from UK) and was becoming a little disillusioned by the gay scene until Loose Ends which has that perfect mix of underground, retro, family, sexy, escapism appeal”.
Remarkably Richard has captured all that through his lens and managed in these dozen or so spectacular prints on display to hold this ‘queer together’ mirror up for us to enjoy. Pretty much every print is fabulous and I can imagine in a few weeks many people having these limited print run photos hanging in their homes as a colourful and fun way to celebrate their type of queer.
DJ Matt Vaughan was at the opening so I asked him for his take on the images and what he hopes visitors to the exhibition might feel. “I think it's great to show that diversity and to have people see the creativity that is so abundant amongst the crowd of Loose Ends regulars. There is a lot of imagination at work and I think it's important because so much of the gay scene just looks more or less the same. There's more to life and being gay than muscles and chinos. But also, I hope people might see the diversity that exists within the Loose Ends crowd in terms of the mix of ages, genders, backgrounds, shapes and sizes.”
The House of Loose Ends exhibition continues until 21 February 11am-6pm at Monstrosity Gallery, 93 Bourke Street, Woolloomooloo. Loose Ends will continue to run weekly every Sunday until the night after Mardi Gras - which will be a big party - and then it will change back to being a monthly party heading into Autumn/Winter.