Author Archives: Fiona Kelly McGregor

About Fiona Kelly McGregor

Sydney writer and performance artist.


‘The story of Iris had to be told and McGregor has produced the roughest but most invaluable diamond.’
– Tony Birch

‘Honestly, I am dazzled. The evocation of 1930s Sydney – the sly-grog trade, the criminalisation of the marginalised, the slums – is visceral and immediate and relevant. It’s a stunner.’
– Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites and Devotion

‘Using scant public records, Fiona Kelly McGregor has composed an entire world. Iris becomes a complex nuanced consciousness, a bearer of experience, thought, feeling, yearnings. This book partakes in a rich tradition of great urban, world-making writings: we might think of Isaac Babel’s Odessa stories, Saul Bellow’s Adventures of Augie March, E L Doctorow’s Ragtime or the Cromwell novels of Hilary Mantel. There’s a magical conjuring up here, a dream-building of people, place and things. Iris to me is not just a great urban novel, but maybe the best Australian city novel ever.’
– Peter Doyle, bestselling author of City of shadows and Crooks like us

‘This is wonderful – a vivid, arresting voice and amazing sense of time, place and dimension on the page. Utterly gripping. Love it.’
– Lucy Treloar, author of Salt Creek and Wolfe Island

‘McGregor’s novel is a portrait of a woman who is poor and clever, angry and passionate, courageous and loyal. Her life is circumscribed by poverty and struggle. Yet she is no victim. She is a woman of verve and spirit, who grasps the pleasures that life offers her, and lashes out when her freedom is threatened. Iris is an in-depth character study, as well as a vivid and panoramic recreation of a place and time.’
– The Times
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April-June 2020. A performance series done in response to the first lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic. On the surface humorous, Moving Masks became a project about place, and connection. It also references the long history of performative self-portraiture, with a … Continue reading


(2021) essays ***SHORTLISTED VICTORIAN PREMIERS LITERARY AWARD*** Buried Not Dead is a collection of essays on art, performance, literature, sexuality and the life of the city. It features artists, writers and activists, some internationally renowned, like Marina Abramović and Mike … Continue reading


The Collaborations shown in the slideshow above are: ‘Resurrection’ by Sheree Rose. With Aaron Sinclair. UNSW Galleries, for The Patient, 2016. photo: John Douglas ‘Font’ by senVoodoo Artspace, Sydney, 2007 photo: Waded ‘Arterial’ by senVoodoo, 2005 Performance Space, Sydney, 2005 … Continue reading


‘A Novel Idea’, Melbourne Writers Festival, September 2019. Asked to do a performance for my photoessay A novel Idea, I presented a sort of anti-performance; a literal embodiment of the writer at work.


Credit: ‘Resurrection’ by Sheree Rose.With Aaron Sinclair.UNSW Galleries, for The Patient, John Douglas


(2019) – photoessay A photoessay which presents a unique, intimate portrait of an author at work. A tongue-in-cheek rumination on the process of novel-writing through the rubric of endurance performance. Created during the final years of the writing of Fiona’s … Continue reading


About senVoodoo. Continue reading


Emergency is a performance by my former company senVoodoo, co-founded with AñA Wojak in 1998. Continue reading


The Kiss is a performance by my former company senVoodoo.

senVoodoo was co-founded with AñA Wojak in 1998. Continue reading