Curator Interview: Larra Juab on ‘Heating Up’

Cover image credit: Alex Thelan

Photo credit: Rhon Juab

Behind every great exhibition is a great artist (or group of artists), but also an amazing team of passionate and dedicated volunteers who put it all together. Our current exhibition, ‘Heating Up’ was curated by Larra Juab.

We interviewed Larra about her experience curating ‘Heating Up’, which you can check out at CAS until March 6th.

Can you start off by telling me a bit about yourself and the show?

I am Larra Juab, I am currently one of the Curators in CAS and I am also the Business Development Manager. For our first show for this year, me and Tash had agreed to do a Midsumma vibe – and what else would that be but to bring queer people into our space!

Now, a little history of Dandenong – apparently this is the highest population of the LGBTQIA+ community in the whole southeastern suburbs! Amazing right?
However, due to the diverse and sometimes conservative backgrounds of people in Dandenong, it was also one of the electoral districts that voted ‘No’ in the 2017 Same Sex Marriage Law Postal Survey.

Nothing tops the feeling of knowing that this is the FIRST EVER QUEER ART SHOW in whole of Dandenong City and I get to curate it! Amazing right?

Definitely amazing! What was your favourite thing about curating ‘Heating Up’?

I loved curating ‘Heating Up’ because in this exhibition we did not try and put the sexualities of the artist into a pedestal. It’s just artists showing works and they just happened to be from the LGBTQIA+ community! I also enjoyed meeting the artists, and talking about being queer and being in the suburbs and striving to be in the arts industry –  you know, usual broke but aspiring artists type of talks haha.

The opening night was also a goddamn blast! We thought only about 5 people would turn up but it was 12, and for a suburban art show, with queer artists – that’s quite remarkable! We even sprinkled glitter everywhere and had glitter lines near the entrance so when you come into the space you are in that mindset of vibrancy and fabulousness.

Did you have a favourite piece and/or artist?

This is a very hard question haha everyone had such different styles and subjects so I loved them all! Though I think everyone still cannot get over one of the artists’ works (I’m not naming names) but their pinkness and fluffyness is just so captivating!

Did you face any challenges in curating this exhibition? 

It was hard to get a lot of people to apply for this show to be honest. Getting people in during the opening night was also a challenge. We also wished we had male artists but it is what it is – and it’s a good way to start off the Women’s month! One of the greatest challenges I faced as a curator though was to try and see how the artworks will work together despite being different to each other – but in the end, with teamwork – we sorted it out and we were able to share this show with all of you.

What are you looking forward to at CAS this year? 

To be really honest, I cannot wait to see more exhibitions that explore one’s identity and feeling of belonging. These topics are just so powerful and important to be discussed and be in the space in Dandenong or anywhere else really. We are one of the most culturally diverse suburbs in Victoria so we need to take this chance to talk about soulful topics. I just cannot wait to see more artworks, meet artists from different backgrounds displaying their work with us, and getting to know more creatives.

I just really love arts my angels, that’s it!

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