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She’s Fire! – John Marchant Gallery presents Alice O’Malley

She’s Fire! – John Marchant Gallery presents Alice O’Malley
13th Jan – 24th Feb 2024

Alice O’Malley’s extensive exhibition, featuring both photography and film, opened this January at John Marchant Gallery here in Brighton. The anticipated exhibition was welcomed by a full house on opening night, and organised with the kind cooperation of the University of Ulster Art Gallery and The 2023 Outburst Festival in Belfast.

She’s Fire! – the title is a mishearing of ‘Ceasefire!’ between Alice and renowned author and poet Eileen Myles (whose portrait is in the show), celebrates the portraits O’Malley has made over the decades of many of New York’s East Village counter-cultural heroes. The central body of work, Community of Elsewheres, is a queer intersectional space – a circle of celestial elders and underground angels that speak across generations.

Her subjects are the artists, poets, eccentrics, and visionaries that inhabit the vibrant 21st-century demimonde of lower Manhattan, tracing community as an elusive concept, defined not by bloodlines or institutions but by what friends do and make together.

Alice O’Malley’s portrait is of Agosto Machado
Alice O’Malley’s portrait of Agosto Machado, 2009. © Alice O’Malley

O’Malley’s portraits capture influential figures within these diverse and connected communities, such as ‘Agosto Machado’ – a crucial figure in the history of Downtown New York—a Chinese-Spanish-Filipino-American performance artist, activist, and Zelig-like icon who has thrived as a central participant in the city’s underground cultural life.  Along with this stunning portrait collection, O’Malley presents a digital installation of 90’s New York queer nightlife and activism.

Alice O’Malley’s photographs have been exhibited internationally and published widely, and is an influential educator in her own right. You can see more of her work and information on her exhibitions and publications on her website.

Further information:

The exhibition runs until 24th February at John Marchant Gallery, Brighton opening Hours 10am-6pm Thursday/Friday and 11am-6pm Saturdays, and by appointment at other times. See the gallery website for further info.

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