Absolutely Queer
Interview with Norrie, Pete Foley and Scott Ford, Matthew Aberline and Maurice Goldberg

Whether it be through politics, art or gaming, LGBTQIA+ people are renowned innovators. Histories of oppression and exclusion prompted the artists in Absolutely Queer to drive change with their fine-tuned creative thinking and problem solving. These innovators reform laws, representations and imaginations, ensuring inclusivity and acceptance at the centre.


Wall of newspaper clippings and magazine articles featuring the words and images of Norrie
When I looked at the barriers around gender, particularly what was thought appropriate for women, I thought, no, I don't want these boxes, these barriers, around what I'm allowed to be capable of.

Norrie is a non-binary sustainability and social justice activist and cartoonist for the South Sydney Herald. They are best known for winning a case in the High Court of Australia in 2014 that abolished the presumption of a person’s sex always being a binary of either male or female. Norrie became the first person in the world to officially be declared by a final court ruling as neither a man nor a woman. The Australian legal ruling recording their sex as non-specified became used as a legal precedent around the world. They spread joy with their rainbow clothing and the bubbles emanating from their flower-wreathed bike as they ride around the streets of Sydney. Through their creative and political activism they have sought to improve the lives of transgender and other gender diverse people.

A cartoon of a man in a suit holding a large piece of paper with the text ‘ETHICS’ in the centre of a red ‘no’ symbol.

Pete Foley and Scott Ford (Fuzzy Ghost)

Two white men pose for a photo

Pete Foley and Scott Ford (Fuzzy Ghost) are animators, illustrators and boyfriends who are making the videogames they want to play: queer, fun, and with meaning. The duo create spaces in which people from the queer community can see characters and stories they relate to. Their videogame 'Queer Man Peering Into a Rock Pool.jpg', is a strange yet joyful game in which a middle-aged queer man wanders around an island attempting to re-furnish his empty house.

As we got older, we noticed there were so few documents of particular places and times in which we’d lived. Queer Man Peering Into A Rock Pool.jpg was driven by a desire to share these moments and feelings.
Pete Foley and Scott Ford (Fuzzy Ghost)

Matthew Aberline and Maurice Goldberg (The Beautiful and Useful Studio)

A blow up archway with an additional blow up sun rising behind it. Attached to the arch are blow up butterflies, stars, the sun, and a love heart with ‘LOVE’ written inside.
We feel our work continues the legacy of fabulousness as an act of protest, a legacy started many decades before by many iconic heroes and many more unsung heroes who bravely shared their stories loudly and proudly.
Matthew Aberline and Maurice Goldberg (The Beautiful and Useful Studio)

The Beautiful and Useful Studio was formed by Matthew Aberline and Maurice Goldberg in 2022 to focus on collaborative projects. Passionate about using art and creativity to bring about positive change, they are best known for their large-scale colourful inflatable installations which have been seen around the world, from Australia to the USA and Europe. Their art allows for play and interactivity while exploring multi-generational stories about sustainability, social inclusion and cultural diversity.

Their work combines painting, sewing, digital processes, projections, textile prints and engineering. Aberline has designed costumes for film, theatre and celebrity performances including costumes for Cyndi Lauper, Dame Edna Everage, Reg Livermore and Nancye Hayes. The Powerhouse collection includes the costumes Aberline created for Livermore’s stage production Turns (2011).

Absolutely Queer is an exhibition celebrating contemporary queer creativity for Sydney WorldPride 2023. The exhibition explores Sydney’s leading queer creatives who are reshaping attitudes towards their community through their work, creative processes and personal stories. Absolutely Queer features costumes, design, artworks, fashion, activism and multimedia.