Saturday, January 29, 2011

GOWEST Midsumma Festival

The Midsumma Festival is an annual series of arts and cultural events which celebrate the pride and diversity of Victoria's lesbian, gay and allied communities. It is spread over 3 weeks from mid-January to February in more than 70 venues throughout Melbourne. Held since 1988, the Festival is identified globally as one of the top five gay and lesbian arts and cultural celebrations, along with New York, San Francisco, Vancouver and Sydney. It is rated a Major Event by Tourism Victoria and the City of Melbourne (Ref 1).

For the second year, the Hobsons Bay City Council is an official Local Government Partner with the Midsumma Festival. It is hosting GOWEST as part of the Midsumma Festival 2011 from 16th January to 6th February. GOWEST is so called because it collectively brings local organisations and artists supporting and representing the GLBTIQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer) communities in Melbourne's West. Click here to view the GOWEST activities in Hobson Bay.

The GOWEST Contemporary Art Exhibition is held at the Louis Joel Gallery from Friday 28th January to Sunday 13th February, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. It features works from Sharon Lam, Sue Manski, Michael O'Hanlon, Victoria Saray, Michelle Thompson and Ri Van Veen, some of which are shown below.

GoWest 04GoWest 02GoWest 03
GoWest ReceptionGoWest 01GoWest Singing

This exhibition was launched by Councillor Tony Briffa, Deputy Mayor of Hobsons Bay City on 28th January - a night of drinks, songs and lots of people. I had to leave soon for lack of breathing space!

GoWest A

I noticed the Rainbow Flag at the reception. I first saw this flag in San Francisco where gay residents like to display this flag outside their house as a symbol of their pride.

The Rainbow Flag was developed by San Francisco artist Gilbert Baker in 1978, where each colour represents an aspect of gay and lesbian life:
  • Pink - sexuality
  • Red -life
  • Orange - healing
  • Yellow - sun
  • Green - nature
  • Blue - art
  • Indigo - harmony
  • Violet - spirit


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