Kingston Art Space

  • Bennett, A et al 2017, muliebrity & other collaborations, Kingston Arts Centre, 20 January – 25 February 2017, commissioned by Kingston Arts for Midsumma Festival,

Do you assume that everyone you meet is heterosexual, unless they “look queer”? In a new video work titled ‘muliebrity’ commissioned by Kingston Arts, artist Alison Bennett reflected on the identity presentation of queer women who emphasise their femininity.

“The word ‘muliebrity’ means ‘female qualities’. The exhibition features a new video work that reflects on feminine identity expression by queer women that I know. It is somewhat of a stereotype that lesbians and queer women express their gender identity in what might be considered as androgynous, masculine or butch. But there are also those that feel most authentic when they express their gender in more traditionally feminine ways. The paradox is that those women are often ‘read’ as heterosexual – so whilst their femininity is visible in the way that their identity is reflected, their queerness is invisible. The work is an encounter with a series of faces that might provoke the viewer to reflect on how they read identity presentation.”

‘muliebrity’ will be screened outside at night on The Bridge located at Kingston City Hall and installed in the Kingston Arts Centre gallery during the day. The gallery installation is anaglyph 3D, created with assistance from Megan Beckwith, and features a soundscape by Greg Penn.

The exhibition at Kingston Arts also featured a selection of Bennett’s collaborative projects: Inverto, Shifting Skin, & Wrap.

Inverto is a series of photographs taken monthly over two years bearing witness to an individual undertaking the process of physically aligning gender identity with embodied presence. The project was featured on ABC TV Australian Story ‘From Daddy’s Tummy’, won the Centre for Contemporary Photography 2015 Salon portraiture prize, and included in The Guardian roundup of best Australian photographs of 2015. This exhibition will feature the time-lapse video version of Inverto.


The Shifting Skin series features high resolution scans of human skin marked by tattoos. The large scale giclee prints are overlaid with 3d augmented reality. When viewed through an app on a mobile screen, a 3D topography appears to project out of the print, a landscape of peaks and valleys describing the tonal scale within the surface of the subject, the terrain of scars, tattoos, skin tone and texture.

Shifting Skin generated considerable international attention when first exhibited in 2013, stemming from a retweet by cyberpunk author William Gibson and a report by that appeared in the Huffington Post. The work has since featured in the Sydney Mardi Gras visual arts program, ABC TV news, the uber hip Theorizing the Web conference in New York City and shown at the Cork Film Centre, Ireland.

Reflecting on this collection of works, Bennett observed that “as a photographer, all my work involves a form of collaboration with the subject and the technology. In recent years, my practice has extended to more explicit forms of collaboration and co-creation. I am particularly interested in the ideas that emerge from the space between each of the collaborators. Digital art practice is a never ending conversation.”

The exhibition includes three works from the online interactive Wrap series. Play with them out online at:



JOY FM Sunday Arts Magazine 15 January 2017

BEAT MAGAZINE: Muliebrity & Other Collaborations


About Alison Bennett

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