ABOUT

Fiona Kelly McGregor is a Sydney author and performance artist. She writes novels, essays, articles and reviews, most of which can be accessed here.

In September 2022, Picador will publish Iris, the 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. Iris is set 1932-37. It 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 book is Buried not Dead (Giramondo, 2021), a collection of essays about art, sexuality and the life of the city. It features long form artist profiles and critiques of Mike Parr, Latai Taumoepeau, Marina Abramović and Bev Nicholas (Cindy Ray) and more, as well as memoir, urban histories and accounts of Sydney’s queer performance culture going back 30 years. Buried not Dead was shortlisted for the 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. 

Fiona’s latest novel, Indelible Ink won Age Book of the Year and was shortlisted for several other awards. It was published in the UK by Atlantic, and in French translation by Actes-Sud as L’Encre Vive.

 

Fiona’s travel memoir Strange Museums can be purchased here. All her previous books won or were shortlisted for prizes, including the Steele Rudd Award for Suck My Toes which has been re-issued by Scribe as an ebook entitled Dirt, along with Au Pair.

Fiona is also known for an extensive repertoire of performance art. Beginning with collaborations at queer dance parties and cultural events in the 1990s, she moved to a solo practice in 2007. Her most recent performance work was the 2020 photographic series Moving Masks done in response to the onset of Covid-19.

From 2008-2011 she created the multidisciplinary Water Series, exploring the fundamental substance of water in the context of rising sea levels, environmental degradation in Australia, and 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 has lived and worked on Gadigal, Birrabirragal and Borogegaland land – part of the Eora/Dharug and Guringai nations – for most of her life. These are the countries of the most ancient civilisation on earth. Respect to their storytelling traditions and cultural custodianship is fundamental. Sovereignty was never ceded.