Q & A On Our Queer History Collection With Dan
Tell Us A Little About Yourself:
My husband and I moved to Bendigo a few years ago with our miniature poodle Sprocket, from Brisbane. We came to Victoria for an event, ran a workshop in Bendigo and fell in love with the history and architecture of the town.
I came out in a time where it was still illegal within certain states of Australia to be gay. I spent a good part of my 20's doing professional drag before throwing everything into a dumpster and moving overseas for a time.
Sandy C Breeze and Winnie Wonderlust
What Was The Inspiration Behind The Collection?
I'm of the generation that grew up before the mobile phone, when the AIDS epidemic was at it's height and there were still laws deeming homosexuality illegal. I think it is so important to remember those who have come before you, fighting the fight for equality.
There are so many important markers along the timeline in queer history that need to be acknowledged for their importance and relevance, even if they happened decades ago. They are the reason why we are where we are today and I wanted to pay homage to those pioneers of queer activism.
How Are The Messages In These Designs Relevant Today?
Just as it is as important to acknowledge those who fought so hard for the freedoms and reforms we have today, the fight for equality isn't over. As much as I am surprised and humbled at the level of acceptance within the general community, there are the same stigmas and discrimination being faced by queer youth today as there were when I was young. There will always be pockets of the community who just don't understand and may feel threatened.
Also, look at how a law can be overruled in one of the world's "super-power" countries with the recent over-ruling of Rowe vs Wade. Luckily the process is different in Australia and we won't see our marriage law redacted, but it goes to show you how easily, across the world, something that has been in place for so long can be changed. Are their gay marriage laws next? It is a genuine concern.
Tell Us About Your Art Practice And Where People Can Find You?
My practice has evolved over the years from drawing and painting to sculpture and hand fabricating jewellery. I have dabbled in fantasy art, abstract art and recently moved onto watercolours of birds, as well as designing a range of products based on native Australian animals. I'm one of those artists who have been creating art as long as I have been able to hold a pencil really!
I'm currently preparing for an exhibition in November at Bendigo Bank in Bendigo. People can find my work on Instagram @dancoxartiststudio.
What's The Most Important Change In The Queer Equal Rights Movement For You?
The most important change for me was the "yes" vote for gay marriage in Australia. This was important for two reasons. Personally I was able to marry the man I love and have this marriage recognized legally by the country I live in, and to have a majority of Australians support my right to do so. Secondly, because a majority of Australians supported the act and called for change, the message of inclusiveness and support this showed the queer community on a whole is huge - even if you don't want to get married! It was never about wanting to get married, but about having the choice and right to if we wanted to!