Raj House has emerged as Adelaide’s hub for outstanding queer performing and visual arts by cultivating developing and established queer artists.
Billed as “Adelaide’s new home for all things queer culture, arts and events”, Raj House is one of the first dedicated queer cultural spaces in Australia, according to general manager Joel Allan.
“Nothing, that I am aware of, was previously dedicated to queer artists,” he says.
Although Melbourne’s yet-to-be-constructed Victorian Pride Centre will have similar offerings, Allan is proud that Raj House can focus purely on the cultural and artistic side of the LGBT+ community, with social events and programming specifically designed to support and encourages queer artists. Housing curated local shows as well as hosting acts for larger events including Adelaide Fringe and the Feast Festival (which is also based in the building); Raj House has become a staple venue for Adelaide’s queer community.
The emergence of Raj House as an artistic hub was highlighted during this year’s Fringe season, where Raj House’s first curated program picked up a total of 12 awards.
“Adelaide has seen the importance of a fully-functioning queer space,” Allan says. “Fringe proved that we could have dedicated spaces for queer performers away from the traditionally commercial gay clubs. It was great to see people use Raj House to absorb the true culture of Fringe and provide a safe-space for emerging artists in a commercial viability not available from other venues.”
With Mad March behind us, Raj House has opened its doors to Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival artists and will host exhibitions in August for the South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA).
A highlight show from Raj House’s Adelaide Fringe season was Phi Theodoros’ Finding Me, which is returning to Raj House for Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival this month for a five-night run.
“Phi Theodoros was one of our stand-out artists during Fringe season,” Allan says. “Her show Finding Me was originally brought to Raj House for one night, but it was so popular, that we extended it to three. We were really excited with the reception we received for her and are so glad that she will be back for the Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival.”
Theodoros, among many artists from around the country, will inhabit Raj House’s colourful play spaces for Cabaret Fringe until Sunday, June 24, while SALA will kick off at the beginning of August.
SALA is always an exciting time for Raj House, says Allan, as it allows the space to be “opened up as a collective exhibition for emerging artists who need a platform to showcase their work”. This year, Raj House will be featuring creatives from broad artistic backgrounds, including folklore-influenced visual work and a fine-dining experience.
“It’s interacting with art in a completely new way and we can’t wait to host it,” Allan says.
Photos: Vueey Le Photography