Artist and activist David McDiarmid remembered at NGV

Artist and activist David McDiarmid remembered at NGV

LAST UPDATED // Friday, 28 February 2014 13:58 Written by // Michael Magnusson

A timely exhibition by one one of Australia's most significant artists and HIV/AIDS activists takes place in Melbourne as the city hosts the International AIDS Conference.

After originally being planned for 2012 to mark the 60th anniversary of David McDiarmid's birth in 1952, a years-in-the-making retrospective of the artist and activist is now set to open in May.

McDiarmid studied art in Melbourne and also lived and worked in the USA. After 1975, his work focussed on gay issues and, from the 1980’s HIV/AIDS. In 1992 he designed posters for the AIDS Council of NSW which created a controversy over their explicit imagery and language. His argument was “good taste can be a prison.”

In 1992 McDiarmid wrote “my work grew out of anger, frustration, confusion - not my usual inspiration. But one quality that queers have always had is the ability to transform our ‘given’ situations into something better by any means necessary.”

McDiarmid died from an AIDS related condition in 1995.

The exhibition 'When This You See Remember Me' is being held at the The Ian Potter Centre, Federation Square from May 9 until August 31.

Charting McDiarmid’s artistic and grassroots political response to the impact of HIV/ AIDS during the 1980s and beyond, the exhibition coincides with the International AIDS conference in Melbourne in July.

Further information about the exhibition is at the NGV website


Pictured: 'Dear Death’ (1990) by David McDiarmid Photo: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne


Michael Magnusson

Michael Magnusson

Michael has written for the gay media for over a decade and has also written for a number of journals, magazines and street presses around Melbourne and websites around the world.

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