‘Notes on Vanity Project: Terrible Twos Birthday Party’ at Goodspace by Yazmeen Meedin
Two years ago, curators and best friends Laura and Charles began Vanity Project: a podcast dedicated to cafe-table conversations and the occasional piece of writing to cure the melancholia induced by long-distance friendship.
Two years later, on its second birthday, Vanity Project gave birth (mind the pun) to a cultural melting pot of yonic iconography, symbolic representations of femininity, and outward declarations of love. VP’s party featured a wealth of talented femme and queer artists, writers and performers, including: Kumiko Delaney, Drew Connor Hollard, Roma Lopes, Billie Posters, Madison Scott, Elisabeth Sulich, Jessica Rose Pearson, Kate McGuinness and Miski Omar, and - of course - Charles and Laura themselves.
The night exuded a sort of energy closely associated with the queer, cultural and aesthetic nuances of art school. It situated itself somewhere between a birthday party with your very best friends and an art show curated specifically, according to Charles, “to turn y'all's pussies…inside out and right side in…” And turn our pussies inside out and right side in it did.
The space was split into two rooms; one primarily dedicated to performances and readings, and one to tactile installations and artworks. The latter space displayed works such as Kumiko Delaney’s beautiful but (sadly) inedible fake cakes, titled If I Make You Up That Means You Are Real (which had several people asking us throughout the night if they were real), and Madison Scott’s fascinating Untitled braided hair installations, which, personally, made me made me feel a visceral sense of yearning for my fleeting girlhood.
The second room was rather difficult to get to once the crowds started gathering in earnest. It held readings and performances from Kate McGuinness, Jessica Rose Pearson, Miski Omar, and Laura and Charles. If you were lucky enough to get a seat in the space, you bore witness to the storytelling, humour, poignancy, openness and honesty that both enraptured the audience, and provided them with food for thought. Comparing tales of womanhood, femininity and sensuality, the installations and performances both mirrored elements of Vanity Project’s aesthetic references, and produced a communal, organic niche that aimed to, according to Laura, “be specific in a way that is generative.”
Vanity Project’s second birthday party embodied the dialogical exchange between friends in a stunning, sensual, very pink, one-night-only exhibition featuring the very best from Sydney's emerging creative scene. Nothing quite captures the essence of community much like VP does - it has produced an inclusive space where people flow around and between the art, forming connections with one another in the process. By engaging an array of beautiful, unique individuals in a sustained conversation about aestheticism and expression, Laura and Charles celebrated the incredible impact of VP with all their friends (and friends of friends!), in a triumphant and fabulous way.
At its core, Vanity Project hails to its roots: it is the collective discussion of aesthetic sensibilities; the sending and receiving of love letters between best friends.
Yazmeen Meedin (she/her) is an Art Theory student at UNSW Art and Design. She enjoys experimenting with different forms of writing and is currently interested in working with the aesthetic concepts surrounding gender, queer and racial discourses. Yaz is an aspiring curator and loves to get involved in gallery spaces, or talk about her favourite artworks. When not writing, she’s usually rambling ad nauseam, to anyone who will listen, about why Doctor Who is the best piece of science fiction of all time.