David McDiarmid
When This You See Remember Me
Yes 1994
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
190.0 x 145.0 cm
Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne
Gift of the Estate of David McDiarmid, 1998 (1998.25)

I never saw art as being a safe thing. I know that exists but that's not something that involves me. David McDiarmid, 1993

Defying classification, the work of David McDiarmid encompasses the complex and interconnected histories of art, craft, fashion, music, sex, gay liberation and identity politics; happily residing in the spaces between high and low art, popular culture and community engagement. At once kaleidoscopic, celebratory and darkly humorous in tone, the artist’s idiosyncratic, highly personal and at times, confessional work highlights the redefinition and deconstruction of identities – "from camp to gay to queer" – drawing on the experiences of a life intensely lived in Melbourne, Sydney and New York. Charting the shifts in politics and individual and community expression that unfold across the decades of the 1970s, 80s and 90s, this exhibition also reveals McDiarmid’s artistic and grassroots political response to the impact of HIV / AIDS during the 1980s and beyond, for which he is best known internationally.

This exhibition includes coarse language and sexual content.


09 May 201431 Aug 2014 The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square

Level 3


David McDiarmid
Australian 1952–1995, worked in United States 1979–87
Hand and heart 1984 (detail)
synthetic polymer paint on cotton
250.0 x 230.0 cm
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
Gift of the Estate of the late David McDiarmid, 1998 (98/173/1)
© Reproduced with the permission of the David McDiarmid estate

David McDiarmid: When This You See Remember Me Schools Programs

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Publication: David McDiarmid: When This You See Remember MeSally Gray, Simon Maidment and Ted Gott with other contributors

David McDiarmid: When This You See Remember Me brings together, for the first time, selected scholarly and personal accounts of the life and work of this pioneering figure in the visual articulation of a gay male political sensibility.

Price $39.95

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