Fiona Kelly McGregor is a cross-disciplinary author, artist and critic who writes novels, essays, articles and reviews, most of which can be accessed here.
In September 2022, Picador published Iris, first in a duet of novels based on the life of Iris Webber, petty criminal active in Sydney’s sly-grog underworld from the 1930s-1950s. Set 1932-37, Iris is an epic and picaresque ride through inner-city slums; a doomed love story peopled with scammers, gangsters and thieves. It’s an interrogation of how society criminalises its most marginalised people.
McGregor’s previous books include Buried not Dead (Giramondo, 2021), a collection of essays about art, sexuality and the life of the city. Shortlisted for the VPLA, it features long form artist profiles and critiques of Mike Parr, Latai Taumoepeau, Marina Abramović, Bev Nicholas (Cindy Ray) and more, as well as memoir, urban histories and accounts of Sydney’s queer performance culture going back 30 years.
Strange Museums, an account of a performance art tour through Poland, can be purchased here. Short story collection Suck My Toes won a 1995 QLD Literary Award (Steele Rudd) and was re-issued by Scribe as the ebook Dirt (2013) along with the novel Au Pair.
McGregor is also known for an extensive repertoire of performance art, beginning with collaborations at queer dance parties and cultural events in the 1990s, moving to a solo practice in 2007. The most recent performance work is the 2020 photographic series Moving Masks done in response to the onset of Covid-19.
From 2008-2011, McGregor created the multidisciplinary Water Series, exploring the fundamental substance of water in the context of rising sea levels, environmental degradation in Australia, and as 80% of the make-up of the human body. Group shows include ‘Performance Presence/Video Time’ and ‘Same River Twice’ at Australian Experimental Art Foundation. In 2016, McGregor performed with USA artist Sheree Rose as part of ‘The Patient’, curated by Bec Dean at UNSW Galleries.
Fiona Kelly McGregor lives and works on Gadigal land – Redfern division. Fundamental are the storytelling traditions and cultural custodianship of the most ancient civilisation on earth. Sovereignty was never ceded.