The Hanging: Looking at love at Firstdraft

April 28th 2016


Torrie Torrie, The Death of Romance, 2016, Photo by Zan Wimberley


When it comes to love, you’d think it had all been said. But this month Firstdraft brings you an intimate and at times uncomfortable look at love, which is equal parts unique and universal.

Full disclosure – I love love. I throw it around like confetti. But sitting behind the velvet curtain of Torrie Torrie’s ‘romantic peep show’ listening to the words I Love You build to a climax complete with flashes of hardcore porn, I felt scared, uncomfortable and I wanted to run away.

It was amazing.

The ‘Death of Romance’ exhibition asks the question: did romance die with the first swipe right on Tinder? And have we entered into a place where pleasure and instant gratification trump all?

Jodie Whalen’s ‘Declaration of Love‘ would beg to differ. Whalen’s love-soaked gallery is carpeted with hand cut, heart shaped confetti. The work is a declaration of love for her husband Heath Franco. Now if hand cutting thousands of tiny hearts isn’t a true representation of love, I don’t know what is – because let’s be real; love can be as painful as it is rewarding.

In the video component of her work, Whalen performs familiar love ballads in a dress that’s straight out of any Disney princess fantasy. While you may know every word to ‘Maps’ by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, each ballad tells a unique story of the couple’s relationship – the highs and the lows. It’s a grand romantic gesture to trump all others.

Whatever your experience of romance, what we learn from this exhibition is: love is a pineapple.

Get loved up at Firstdraft this April!


WHAT: Group Exhibition | April at Firstdraft
WHERE: Firstdraft, 13-17 Riley St, Woolloomooloo
WHEN: Until 29th April, 2016
HOW MUCH: FREE – more info here



FBi’s Arts & Culture executive producer.

Read more from Nerida Ross