Jenny Taylier, 1993–1996
Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Jenny Taylier, 1995
Jenny Taylier was Daniel Mudie Cunningham's 1990s art school drag persona. Jenny only ever performed in her suburban Western Sydney backyard, basing her look on a low-rent Kmart version of Liza Minnelli. Shot on slide film, these photographs document a backyard performance that took place after midnight on New Years Eve, 1 January 1995. Attendees included friends Tim Hilton, Toby Huynh, Michelle Seamons and John South.

Jenny's backstory was documented in Daniel Mudie Cunningham's art school journal through a series of ten letters penned to her imaginary friend, Quentin. The first of the letters is reproduced below.


Dearest Quentin,

I’ve emerged from my ashtray of regret, from the soiled make-up down the long face. Tears like crisp doilies, caked in jet mascara. Staring at my eyes, framed with flickering light, I cry. Tears of drag for my unrequited desire – bottled with the residue of a Bacharach classic. Oh, how it lingers. 

I’m every woman. My predecessors – Barbra, Judy, Aretha, Liza (but not Madonna) – are primed within my eyeliner. All traces of my persona. I say my name with pride: “Jennifer Taylier”. 

"A star is born", they say. I say, “No, one is lived". Tiresome maybe, but that is my allure. I have tread marks all over my dressing room carpet that tally an ongoing applause, a flickering incense, blunt lippie. It is blunt by the handwritten scrawl of my desire, smudged on my mirror, a poem for my lover. When I’m not there to amuse his affectations, he is a welfare worker tainted by the non-bureaucratic idealism of a 70s gay aesthetic. I love him for that. 

I must be going, darling. 

Love & Regret,
Jennifer Taylier
Solo exhibitions:
Are You There? Wollongong Art Gallery, 2023