Tina Fiveash a Queer Photomedia Artist

Text: Liz Ashburn, Sydney, Australia

When Birthe Havmøller asked me to write about what is happening in the lesbian art scene in Sydney, I immediately thought of Tina Fiveash. Tina Fiveash is a photomedia artist living in Sydney. You may be familiar with her work as she has been represented in several group shows in Europe – ‘Normal Love’, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 2007, ‘Islomania’, The Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Nicosia 2008 and ‘Terra Nullius’, ACC Galerie Weimar, Weimar 2009. She has been exhibiting since 1992.

Her collaborative public art project with Deborah Kelly, ‘Hey, hetero!’ Originally appeared in spaces ranging from billboards to printed media and online in Sydney during the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 2001 and has traveled to Scotland, Germany and India. These images include texts such as “Have a baby: No national debate” referring to the homophobic debate over the unsuitability of lesbians as mothers. Other images invite heterosexuals to get married, because you can and ’Hey, hetero, when they say family they mean you.” The staging is floridly camp and wittily points out the privileges that are given to heteros worldwide. By making the  “hetero” visible in such public arenas the sexual privileges of heterosexuality are revealed as are the restrictions placed on those who are seen as other. There is a cheeky and subversive insolence in these works, which are both strongly political but also surprisingly humorous.

A later collaborative work with Deborah Kelly for the 2009 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was the giant Big Butch Billboard a wry homage to the 1989 Maria Kozic’s Butch billboard. Tina’s latest work involves animated lenticular photography. This complex process produces images, which change as the viewer alters the position of her head.

Tina will be presenting a lecture about her photography at the International Lesbian Studies Conference – part of the Spring Festival will runs from 8-13 April in Toulouse, France.


Tina Fiveash’s website

About The Author

Liz Ashburn is an artist, academic and writer based in Sydney Australia and has been writing about lesbian art since the mid 1990’s. 

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