DARLINGHURST: A CULTURAL MELTING POT
Australia in the 1970s: sex, drugs, rock and roll, gays, transsexuals, cross dressers
and there, to witness it all, artists.
Not only was Violet involved in the rock and roll scenes of the 1970s, she witnessed and documented the coming of age of the National Art School in Darlinghurst and the growing significance of the Sydney LGBT subculture.
As a part of the early Darlinghurst scene, Violet captured many of the then obscure local performers, such as a Raats Bander and Ignatius Jones, who traversed the boundaries between avant-garde theatre, drag performance, music and art. Among some of the more famous personalities of Darlinghurst's colourful history include Sydney dominatrix Madame Lash, English camp performer Lindsey Kemp and drag performers Sylvia and the Synthetics, all of which feature in the extensive Violet Hamilton Collection.
In 1978, Violet documented the largest LGBT rights protest held on Oxford Street.
This event was to become a monumental part of Australia’s national history, celebrated today as the annual Sydney Mardi Gras Festival.