David McDiarmid

1952–1995

David McDiarmid was a painter, poster designer, installation artist, fabric designer, craftworker and gay activist. In the mid-1970s he was known for the exquisite hand-painted textiles he produced for 'Flamingo Park’, the fashion house run by Jenny Kee and Linda Jackson, but from 1975 all his work, regardless of medium, was about gay experience. Involved with the Sydney Gay Liberation movement since 1972, his first solo exhibition Secret Love, held at Sydney’s Hogarth Galleries in 1976, featured collages explicitly exploring gay male sexuality, anti-gay legislation and public and private sexual hypocrisies. He visited the USA in 1977 and fully participated in its wildest gay scenes. After returning to Australia, McDiarmid lived almost continuously in the US from June 1979 to December 1987. After returning to Australia at the end of 1987 McDiarmid immersed himself in community art projects. He did all the posters for Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras from 1989 until his death.

This tribute page was created by Visual AIDS.

Images courtesy of the Estate of David McDiarmid and National Gallery of Victoria website

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