BIOGRAPHY

Garrie was born in Grafton, famous for its jacaranda trees. He is the son of a boiler maker and who was bullied and marginalised as a result of his small build and being of Irish decent, he was known locally as ‘Boxer’ because he wasn’t. His mother died when he was seven. Garrie was of small build, an artistic temperament and of Irish decent. Australia has always marginialised some sector of society. Garrie has always been keenly aware of the power dynamics and performance of masculinity. He rebelled by going to Church, going as far as doing half a BTh which still forms part of his theoretical approach. He is interested in the whole before the parts, the humanity before the gloss, making heroes of every man not just the media approves and promotes. How to perform masculinity became the central question for him as he failed at all attempts to be heterosexual.

He found a home in the gay community producing exhibitions that questioned which males is desirable and who should be represented in the ‘give-to-be-seen’ rather than produce work that is ‘given-to-be-sold’ and/or the subjects to be lusted over, which is the emphasis of most community gay male art. Here he produced exhibitions that toured Australia and some internationally. These exhibitions presented many men of different, abilities, ethnicities and builds and presented them as equals. He was part of the curatorial team for the 2008 Midsumma visual arts festival including showing the work of Michael Shaowanasai, who twice represented Thailand at the Venice Biennale.

In 2011 he graduated from RMIT having achieved an MA, that took these themes and formalised them via an investigation of the conceptional frameworks of Chinese and Australian masculinity. This was followed up with artist in residence programmes at Red Gate Gallery and Three Shadows Photographic Art Centre in Beijing. He stayed on to work with Brian Wallace at Red Gate immersing himself the Beijing arts scene including curating China::Chinese exhibition in 2013. This time also cemented his thoughts that it is time to move from an Western Europe and North American (WENA) perspective of photography and look at North South axis (Australia through Asia) without reference to WENA and consider it on its own terms. Up until the 1990s photographic histories did not acknowledge practitioners outside WENA then it became about the current Asian power house (first Japan, now China).

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