Iridescent by Gerwyn Davies is unlike anything we’ve seen in the art world of late. Playful, stylish and fresh — prolific queer artist Gerwyn Davies shows Sydney in a brand new light through these works. The exhibition features a series of larger than life photographic artworks set in and inspired by 12 properties under the care of Sydney Living Museums and NSW State Archives.
Iridescent by Gerwyn Davies
In this unique display, Davies transforms 12 historic homes, museums and gardens into properties where some truly extravagant performances play out. The costumes are exhibited at the Museum of Sydney alongside the 12 large-scale photographs.
For the uninitiated, Davies often leans towards being rather ambiguous and never reveals his face. His storytelling takes centrestage through the pose and the situation, exploring lesser known histories of said properties.
In Iridescent for instance, Sydney’s 19th-century mansion, Vaucluse House is spotlighted. Davies was drawn to the story of the grand house’s former resident, barrister and writer William Charles Wentworth and Sarah who had two children out of wedlock, earning the ire of the social elite and being shunned from society, despite marrying him later.
Davies’s monochrome costume, inspired by black and white tiles in the courtyard, sits rather outlandishly within the house’s opulent 19th-century drawing room.
“This is a truly robust and yet whimsical and witty exhibition – we know visitors will delight in discovering the stories underneath the amazing visual works,” Adam Lindsay, Executive Director, Sydney Living Museums & NSW State Archives said.
Iridescent playfully explores how history, in the form that it is showcased in historic establishments is neither fixed nor monochromatic but rather, an iridescent creature with the potential to be conceived in new and fresh ways with the passage of time.
Iridescent by Gerwyn Davies is now on at the Museum of Sydney until Sunday, April 24.