Ben Mercer & Tom Pender - 'The Story of the Girls'

Wednesday 23 January - Sunday 3 February 2019


The Story of The Girls celebrates and showcases a rich archive of visual material (including drawings, photographs, videos and handmade doll fashions) resulting from 25 years of creative play between two gay best friends. It intends to communicate an alternative story of friendship and self expression, which hopes to resonate with and empower a queer audience, as well as sharing our story with a non-queer audience, adding to a larger narrative.

As young gay men in early 90s Australia, Ben Mercer and Tom Pender used Barbie-style dolls to develop a group of outrageous female character (known as The Girls) in order to ‘play out’ their fantastical selves, unconstrained by the homophobic world that they found themselves growing up in. The Girls became both muses for their artistic creation as well as the medium for the outward expression of their inner drag queens.

As mature gay men, the creators strongly feel that this exhibition is perfectly timed. With rising conservatism, and equality still very much a life-or-death matter for many people, now, more than ever, the world needs The Girls! Out of the closet, and into the art gallery!