Honouring Cayte Latta
The spirit of the new category recognising artists to be introduced at this year’s Honour Awards beautifully reflects the person after whom it is named, writes Nicky Bryson.
It’s that rather marvellous time of year when we nominate the people and organisations who have made such a special contribution to the LGBTI community that they deserve to take home an Honour Award.
I’m an enormous fan of the Honour Awards. We all know I love fundraising gala. After all, those auctions are where I do my best work. I come home from these things with opera tickets, holidays and strands of pearls, and they are all such a steal it’s like I’m making money. Better than that, instead of feeling a guilty sense of ‘buyer’s remorse’, I am filled with the warm glow of actually doing something good!
Above: In memoriam ... Cayte Latta
All shopping aside, the Honour Awards (supported by ACON and The Aurora Group), are simply a wonderful chance for everyone to come together and recognise the part we all play in this glorious little pocket of the world we inhabit.
This year the Awards take on an even more special resonance, as for the first time, the Cayte Latta Memorial Award for Visual Art will be offered. In addition to the award, the winner will receive a $1000 cash prize - an endowment made possible by the Friends of Cayte, led by the two men she loved most in this world, Peter and Jaycen.
The award recognises visual art that expresses, interprets or explores issues or themes affecting the LGBTI community and you can nominate yourself or the work of an artist you admire. Eligible mediums include photography, painting, drawing, video, filmmaking, printmaking or graphic design.
I tip my hat to everyone who made this happen. By the time the award is presented, it will be almost four years since Cayte Latta passed away. It’s a fitting tribute. To the world at large, Cayte was an accomplished photographer, artist, filmmaker, social activist, and leading LGBTI community figure. To me, she was a gorgeous friend and a mentor who delighted in helping me achieve recognition and success.
She was always the life of every party, singling out hot new talent and pushing them into the spotlight, so this award would really tickle her fancy. I know that on the night, I’m going to be looking over my shoulder, wondering where Cayte is and if she needs another refill on her bubbles (the answer to that: always!). I will certainly expect her to swan up to me with the winner of her award in tow, making generous introductions and hooking up everyone’s next project.
I can already hear the inimitable shriek of laughter that preceded any story she was about to launch into for the assembled company, and I have tear in my eyes and a huge smile on my face as I type those words.
Beautiful Cayte will be in that room just as surely as all the other warm bodies reaching out for the passing of tray of canapés… and I would like to see aspiring artists filling the room and honouring her legacy. I’ll buy them all of a glass of champagne, spin them a fabulous tale and introduce them to someone “they just have to meet!”
To nominate your own work of the work of an artist you admire, visit the Honour Awards website here.
The Honour Awards ceremony and cocktail party is on Wednesday, September 17, at the Ivy Ballroom, Sydney. Book your tickets here.