Sad Farewells

The 2021 art world losses we’ll be feeling for decades to come.

VIRGINIA FRASER (1947 – 2021)

The last time I spoke with Virginia Fraser was on her birthday on 28 December 2020. We talked about her exhibition with Destiny Deacon at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. We made tentative plans to visit the exhibition before it finished. Sadly, this never eventuated.

Virginia was a friend, feminist, writer, editor, artist and Destiny’s life partner and loyal collaborator. She was utterly immune to the cliques of the art world though aware of its fickleness. We spent two precious years working intensively on Destiny’s solo exhibition, Walk & don’t look blak at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney in 2004 researching their joint practice, meeting weekly at my place for work lunches. She would often bring bread or pastries. We trawled through Destiny’s CV, building a bibliography. At the time, Destiny’s archive comprised of two slides in a shopping bag under her bed. We cut out postage stamp replicas of their life’s work together, configuring the exhibition at my kitchen table: laughing, learning and working together.

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