Grant Lingard

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1961, d.1995


  • 1994
  • Mixed media
  • Purchased 1996
  • 97/11.1-3

Grant Lingard made this all-white flag from Jockey Y-fronts, a type of underwear associated with heterosexual masculinity and athletic prowess. He flew a later version from the flagpole outside Canterbury Museum and pasted up Y-front posters along Christchurch alleyways. These were deliberately brazen public displays, poking fun at the white sheets of the Ku Klux Klan while injecting an in-your-face dose of male sexuality into sedate city streets that were often the backdrop for homophobic violence.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • Flag and Boots makes playful but poignant comments about the homosexual experience within New Zealand society. Stitched together from Jockey Y-Fronts, the flag defies the enforced invisibility of gay culture. Its unrelenting whiteness is suggestive of society’s intolerance of variation. The ‘bovver-boy’ boots are made of scented white soap. Evident in Grant Lingard’s work are elements of Dadaism, in which found objects are taken from their everyday function and reassigned to a new context as a work of art. Lingard worked with Symbolism, both abstract and figurative, with a political and personal narrative. He was one of the few New Zealand artists who asserted his ‘difference’, i.e. his homosexuality, through his art practice. Lingard was born in Blackball, on the West Coast of the South Island. He studied at the University of Canterbury, graduating in 1984. He moved to Sydney in 1989. Lingard participated in solo and group exhibitions in both New Zealand and Australia until his death in Sydney.

    (Opening hang, May 2003. Two works by Grant Lingard, 'Flag' and 'Boots' were then considered one work. Later research has shown that they are two separate works that can be shown together, as they were here)