LIAM BENSON: Virtue Without Stain

Published by: Marcelle Heath | 25-Nov-2022
Liam Benson explores the intersection of gender, cultural and queer identity at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery for summer survey exhibition. #liambenson #brag #bathurst #regionalarts #virtuewithoutstain
Venue: Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
Address: 70-78 Keppel St Bathurst, NSW, 2795
Date: 5 November 2022 - 15 January 2023
Time: Open: Tues to Fri 10am - 5pm. Sat, Sun and public holidays 10am –-2pm, closed Mondays.
Ticket: free
Call: (02) 6333 6555
What does it means to be a Queer white male of Anglo-Saxon heritage in Australia today? Multi-disciplinary artist Liam Benson unpacks this cultural discussion in his first survey exhibition at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) for their summer program.

Led by Curator Richard Perram OAM, Bathurst is celebrating Benson’s contemporary and cultural practice of the last 20 years, with over 130 works across photography, new media, video, textiles, embroidery and multiple collaborative pieces on show.

Benson’s work is interwoven with political and equality expressions of identity. As an artist who identifies as LGBTQIA+, Liam reflects lived experiences with keen cultural and experimental insight. He disrupts ideas of masculinity, shifts perspectives on historical complexities and satirises cultural identity with a queer bent.

The skill of Benson's art making process is on show here with self-performance and body adornment at the heart of his practice. Central to that work is the way Benson's video, craft techniques and photography overlap.

Benson’s recent practice is the creation of collaborative community works made using glass seed, bugle beads, sequins, cotton, and organza. Using the gemstones and crystals from Bathurst's Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum collection as inspiration, Benson worked with local community groups to create a new series of hand stitched pieces that celebrate people’s life lessons, stories and experiences.

Benson’s well-known performance piece, ‘White Lady’, also reappears. Dressed in a handmade ivory Victorian gown, the artist inhabits the façade of a 'white lady' and roves throughout the crowd in public spaces, stopping for periods to talk and embroider with visitors one-on-one. Benson completed two walk throughs for the Bathurst exhibition, at the regional Tarana Markets and at Bathurst’s Victoria Hotel during 2022.

Liam Benson is one of Australia’s most original and creative artists. Framing life and art through a queer lens, Benson's work holds an unflinching mirror up to who we are as Australians.

On show at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery until 15 January, 'Virtue Without Stain' will tour 2023-2024.

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