Glitz and Glamour: Bowery Ball at NGV

Glitz and Glamour: Bowery Ball at NGV
Image: From Bowery Ball Webpage

The name Leigh Bowery is certainly synonymous with a sense of wild, Queer freedom throughout the international LGBTQI community. A Melbourne native, he moved to London when he was 19 and opened Taboo in Leicester Square, one of the city’s best. Known for its gender-bending performances and utter disregard for all things heteronormative, the club attracted a large Queer crowd, and soon the likes of Boy George and others were looking to work with him. 

Sadly, at just 33, Bowery died of complications associated with HIV/AIDS, but his legacy lives on. His legacy has lived on, however, and designers and artists such as Vivien Westwood have drawn inspiration from the Melbourne-born legend. 

One way Bowery’s legacy will be celebrated this Pride Season is at the National Gallery of Victoria. The ‘Bowery Ball at NGV’ is set to be a huge night of boundary-pushing Queer excellence and art. The Ball itself looks to totally transform the NGV itself, creating a Queer paradise. The main hall will play host to art, music and entertainment, acting as the vibrant centrepiece, with performances well into the night. Expect to see the likes of nightclub host and costumer Bettie Rosé and sideshow artist Elle Diablo. 

What To Expect

If you find yourself at this event, perhaps you might make your way to the Garden Restaurant, where you’ll find it has been transformed into an intimate and classy piano bar, where the likes of NAIDOC Pride-award Winner 2Jooccee and more will be performing in a cosier setting. Drag icons such as Lazy Susan, Zelda Moon and Art Simone will also take guests through a cheeky guided tour of the concurrent NGV Triennial, an exhibition that celebrates contemporary art, architecture, and design. 

“A safe space for the community to express themselves with pride”

“The Bowery Ball recognises the important contribution of the LGBTIQA+ community to Melbourne’s local art history” NGV Director Tony Ellwood AM, further adding that “the Bowery Ball will be a safe space for the community to express themselves with pride”. 

For anyone lucky enough to attend, organisers have highlighted that the guests should look to emulate the reckless abandon of Leigh Bowery’s work and embrace the weird, wild, glamorous, and boundary-pushing elements that made Leigh Bowery and his work so fantastic. And like Bowery, you should simply look to have fun! 

If the art, dance, music, performances, and much more are not enough to lure you down to the NGV, then the free Pommery Champagne and complimentary beverages probably will! So, hurry and book your tickets for the “Bowery Ball at NGV” if you don’t want to miss out! 

To book your tickets, visit the NGV’s site here.

When: March 22 | from 8pm

Where: NGV International St Kilda Road

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