Stars of Eureka Dreaming

We are looking for an opportunity to explore the nature of freedom and specifically the rights of the LGBTIQ community, possibly in Ballarat itself.

Update 12/05/2017- Ballarart International Foto Biennale Project 

Last Friday I had the opportunity to meet with Kirsten of the Ballarat Pride Hub and Brett who runs the Ballarat Trades Hall council . Brett took me on a tour of the amazing Trades Hall building and indicted that if the Hub supported the project Trades Hall Council could find some workshop space probably in the basement. I made a presentation to Kirsten about what he project could look like. Kristen suggested we could include making a rainbow version of the  Eureka Flag.

The proposal 

Inspired by the Eureka oath "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our liberties " We would like to claim our share of the freedoms that generations have fought for.

According to Dr Annie Bolitho 

“Michael's art is motivated by the power of revelation. This is art-in-the –world, a stand for full human potential and a reaching for social rights. Nowhere is this more clearly stated than in the artist’s frequent return to the themes of the Eureka Flag and the male body un-clothed. What does it mean to be a self determined Australian? Michael asks” 

As a gay man growing up and working in the Northern and Western suburbs of Melbourne I have experienced everything from overt discrimination and threats of violence to the ruling political elite preventing marriage equality for the LGTBIQ community. 

I have deliberately chosen diverse models for the series, different nationalities ages and body types that reflect the goldfields diversity and as a challenge to gay culture which needs to become more critically reflective about body facism, racism and a belief that you can only be gay in a few inner city suburbs.

While the major parties continue to oppress GLBTI people through such devices as defining marriage as the union of and a woman, we need to fight for more than our own freedom , we need a democracy, a republic and a guarantee of minority rights 

While some so-called "patriots" try to misappropriate the Eureka flag for white supremacist and anti-immigrant purposes, it was Carboni who underscored the multicultural nature of the great rebellion, saying: "I call on my fellow diggers, irrespective of nationality, religion or colour, to salute the

 'Southern Cross' as the refuge of all oppressed from all countries on earth." 

"For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream."Vincent Van Gogh

"the stars, like candles
thrust at us from behind blue veils,
and as if to make the invisible plain,
a wondrous people have come forth"

The Divani Shamsi Tabriz by Rumi

Reasons why I have adopted the Eureka theme in my art, as my artist's name and in my consulting business 

Links with my family history 

According to family folklore my great grandmother was born on the Ballarat gold fields.  I have recently been able to confirm her name was Margaret Anne Lee formerly Ryan. Born July 16, 1859 in Mount Pleasant,( then a gold field now a suburb of Ballarat ) her parents,  from Tipperary in Ireland were married at St Alpius in 1857 . This puts my family in Ballarat  around the time of the Eureka stockade (1854).
My family then  moved to Gordon, a small village outside Ballarat, where my father grew up. 

As a name for my consulting business

I run a small consulting company called Eureka Community Development Services. I have  worked hard to achieve great equity for disadvantaged groups throughout my career beginning with setting up therapeutic communities for people with psychiatric disabilities running a progressive community health service, setting up self help groups with people with disability in rural area, working to transform disadvantaged communities and asserting the rights of GLBTIQ people in western Melbourne. I have always seen myself as a fighter for the oppressed and so when I set up the company in 2006 it was logical to call it Eureka Community Development Services. My company logo is a stylized version of the Eureka Flag 

 My artist's name 

I have used the artists name Eureka since 2010. It is also the name I use as a “radical faerie” a member of an alternative international alliance of queer men and women who follow the convention of having a self chosen faerie name 

How the work has evolved from my first Eureka exhibition in 2008

A full catalogue of my works created on the Eureka theme is on my deviant art site Stars of Eureka Dreaming

Video of my performance  Eureka flag 2008
Installation in my Williamstown flat where I explored  the various textures shapes and colours of the Eureka flag 

Eureka flag installation -my first Eureka exhibition Footscray Community Arts Centre 2008
Image from Gay cowboy couple shoot referencing Walt Whitman's poetry 2012

Community Engagement 

We want to devlop the concept in conjunction with the LGBTIQ community of Ballarat. One approach would be to to have a session where local communiy members could come and pose against the Eureka backdrop. We could then edit the work together and have an exhibition presentation and performance around the theme of diversity and equallty

Components and Themes 

Performance particularly circus and images inspired by Lola Montez Goldfields performer

a circus aesthetic 

The natural environment 

found and built textures 

Spirit of comradeship and mutual assistance 

Continuous history my own and other LGBTIQ people with links to Eureka 

My friend Greg Kelly whose ancestor fought in the Eureka rebellion 

Diverse sexualities on the goldfields and now, especially hidden narratives  
More works in progress at instagram @eurekaartist

If you would like to support the series in anyway - modelling, video performing hosting an exhibition, technical or financial support, purchase of limited edition works please contact me on

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