Take a stroll down Oxford Street and immerse yourself in a window-display installation that celebrates the centre of LGBTQI history and community. 

WITH LOVE is a shop-front exhibition displaying fabulous Mardi Gras Parade costumes by the late Ron Muncaster, and heartwarming LGBTQI community portraits by Richard Hedger.

Photographer Richard Hedger said he’s fortunate enough to cross paths with people from all walks of life. 

He added that the shots show a remarkable group of individuals from all walks of LGBTQI life.

“Everyone has a story to tell – politicians, engineers, artists, nurses, teachers – all of us,” Hedger said. 

“Place someone in front of the camera and a world of insight is at your disposal. This is my passion.

“Any opportunity to salute LGBTQI people who have an impact on the broader community is important and necessary in stating and reinforcing positive association and standing in our current social climate.” 

 Hedger said that celebrating the people whose lives, work, talent, history and endeavours reach wide demographics is intrinsic to breaking down poorly informed misconceptions and works to empower the LGBTQI generation.

The photos showcased are from Richard Hedger’s bodies of work Toy With Me (2014), National Treasures (2015) and Telling Tales (2018).

The WITH LOVE exhibition also pays tribute to a true hero of the Mardi Gras Parade who wowed crowds with decades of unforgettable, extravagant, handmade creations. 

Known as ‘the Queen of Mardi Gras’ and ‘the Master of Sequins’, Ron Muncaster had a pivotal role in the Parade from the early 1980s with spectacular feathered and sequinned costumes to wow the crowds.

He painstakingly made his own beautiful and witty designs using an astonishingly creative array of items. 

They often took months to complete, then were seen for only a few fleeting minutes at the Parade.

 Mardi Gras’ annual Parade Costume Award is now named ‘the Ron Muncaster Award for Best Costume’ in his honour.

Muncaster passed away in 2017. The Mardi Gras Workshop is now restoring his costumes so that they can be displayed again in years to come. 

On display now are a selection of recently restored Ron Muncaster Parade costumes, along with a codpiece creation he made for Sleaze Ball.

The exhibition WITH LOVE is on display until October 5 in the windows at 21 Oxford Street, Paddington, just a couple of blocks from Taylor Square.

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