It All Started at Patchs: Lance Cunynghame, T. Charles Green and Bill Morley. Curator Robert Lake — March 2004

 

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Lance Cunynghame, T. Charles Green & Bill Morley

Curator: Robert Lake.
Opened by William Yang.

It All Started at Patchs is one in a series of exhibitions curated over the past three years by Robert Lake reflecting on queer art history. It followed Dead Gay Artists at Sydney University’s Tin Sheds (2002) and the survey Hung Drawn and Quartered (co-curated with Jim Anderson, Tin Sheds (2003).

Nightclubs were one of the first gay scenes to bridge underground and mainstream cultures. Patchs, opening at 33 Oxford Street in April 1976 and the first club to have a lit disco dance floor, was fabulous, seedy and egalitarian, and about music and performance.

Robert Lake met the artists in this exhibition of drawings at Patchs. They were variously DJs, lighting designers and performers.

The Patchs experiment is now compared to London’s Taboo club which showcased artists like Leigh Bowery. These artists lived life as art and their art reflects our lives.

 

 

Left: Lance Cunynghame

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Bill Morley Bill Morley Bill Morley  

 

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T. Charles Green (Theraza Green) T. Charles Green (Theraza Green)    

 

Lance Cunynghame cartoons and makes woodprints, handmade calendars and limited edition artist books. For some 20 years he designed costumes for Mardi Gras and for the underground parties of the 90s. Of these performances, his Funky Chicken is the most (in)famous.

 

T. Charles Green (Theraza Green) was one of the stars of the Patchs drag show in the early 80s. Her great numbers were a mix of bizarre fantasy, horror and the comic set to music by performers like The Flying Lizards and Nina Hagen. The self-portrait drawings in the show were made around 1987-89 under the name ‘Eveonadam’. From the 90s, T.C. has worked in film and video.

Bill Morley was DJ in the early 80s at Stranded and resident DJ for Arthurs in Kings Cross. His legend began when he outraged the 1987 Mardi Gras party by playing the ‘Blue Danube Waltz’. His eclectic mix of all sounds remains an inspiration to young DJs. He says he began drawing by studying the shading on the Art Deco fins of Buicks and Cadillacs.

 

Curator
Robert Lake's gay art archive project began over three years ago with the show Ante at Imperial Slacks. He followed with Dead Gay Artists at Sydney University’s Tin Sheds in 2002, Pristine Latrine (a happening in Taylor Square toilets) and, a year later, Hung Drawn and Quartered, a huge survey of three generations of queer artists, also at the Sheds. Robert is also a lighting designer and works in video.

Publications
The Cross Art + Books: Jim Anderson & Robert Lake ‘Hung Drawn and Quartered’, Sydney University Tin Sheds, 2003.
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