Venus in Thorns

Exploring queer bodies as an arcadia

While querying binary concepts of heaven and hell, and queering notions of paradise, the exhibition and its associated programs challenge heteronormative conventions and idealised binary states.
Instead, this project looks towards the fluidity found in a queer ecology. It explores the relationship between Nature and kinship – of blood, bone and beyond – in order to nurture an inclusive queer arcadia. The project draws upon spirituality and sexuality, esotericism and eroticism, as a means of radicalising the present, and empowering queer people in the future. A queer arcadia celebrates collective, healthy, and pluralistic futures for each and every body. ‘Venus in Thorns’ celebrates those who defy, those who are demonised, and those who demonstrate their difference as empowerment. The artworks, performances and writings present a contemporary cross-section of creative practice, where queer bodies and voices are heralded as sharp and glorious thorns. As guided by the celestial body of Venus (a symbol of love), the project will map new and existing amorous architectures pertaining to queer paradise, both physical and psychical, across Trocadero Art Space and a decommissioned bluestone church. These works will investigate dance, video, performance, installation, sonic space and virtual reality, as modes to subvert and distort, as well as to convalesce and commune. 

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Kieran Butler, performance documentation from A Blockade for one, Accomplices in love, 2019. Sawtooth Gallery, Launceston, TAS. Image by Visuals by Shan b.

Event & ticketing details


English No Barrier
Wheelchair Access

Dates & Times

Opening Wed 22 Jan 6-8pm
Exhibition 22-25 Jan, 29 Jan-1 Feb | midday-5pm


Trocadero Artspace

Level 1, 119 Hopkins St, Footscray

Get directions


Any western line to Footscray


82 to stop 63

Event notes


Nudity, Coarse language, Long Periods of standing

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