‘Queers can do anything’: Ngarigo artist Peter Waples-Crowe

‘Queers can do anything’: Ngarigo artist Peter Waples-Crowe
Image: Image from the insideOUT exhibition. (Koorie Heritage Trust)

Each month we’ll champion two amazing drag queens, DJs, or community heroes in the LGBTI space. This month’s spotlight falls on Ngarigo artist Peter Waples-Crowe and his new exhibition insideOUT.


What do you love about Australia’s LGBTI community?

It’s vibrancy and it’s diversity.

What can you tell us about insideOUT, and how it looks at the intersection of queer and Aboriginal culture?

InsideOUT is a reflection of me. I have always expressed myself through art and this show brings together my queer and Ngarigo identities to articulate that intersection from my own life experiences. It’s a celebration of getting to this point in my life where I feel strong and more at peace.

What kinds of performative queer community spaces will you bring into the exhibition?

I’m organising a queer performance event for June and I have opened the space up for the black queer community to put on events. In the first week of the show I will be collaborating with an Indigenous Taiwanese queer artist for a healing ceremony within the insideOUT show.

What are you hoping people take away from your work?

I hope the show makes people think and reflect on their own lives. The show speaks to many audiences like the Aboriginal community, the queer community and the mainstream art work. I think there is something for everyone to take away.

What area do we need to focus on (in terms of LGBTI rights) the most at the moment?

I think we need to keep tackling homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and keep breaking down gender binaries. We need to support queer people outside the major cities and work with Indigenous communities to empower young queer mob.

Who do you see as an LGBTI ‘hero’ in the community?

I look up to supportive and queer elders in the Aboriginal community and I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many LGBTIQ+ allies and activists in Melbourne. Victoria is a very progressive state. I don’t have one hero, I have many.

Best “Pride” moment?

I’m hoping the opening of insideOUT will be my best pride moment so far. I’m getting a bit excited.

Advice for younger LGBTI people?

Find support where you can. Try to be proud of your queerness and don’t internalise the hate you might experience. Express it the best way you can and remember that you are perfect and beautiful just the way you are. Queers can do anything.

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