Jenny Taylier, 1993–1999
Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Jenny Taylier (Hurstville), 1999
Jenny Taylier was Daniel Mudie Cunningham's 1990s art school drag persona. Jenny only performed in suburban backyards (Hurstville, Kingswood and Parramatta), mostly basing her camp/grunge look on a low-rent Kmart version of Liza Minnelli/Courtney Love (though in a video 'screen test' shot in a Kingswood share house garage, Jenny resembles neither).

This archive of photo stills comprises three occasions where Jenny appeared. The first documents a backyard performance at Hurstville after midnight on New Year's Eve, 1 January 1995. Attendees included friends Tim Hilton, Toby Huynh, Michelle Seamons and John South.

The second and third photo sessions are from 1999 when Jenny was reprised as a grunge icon in respective backyards at Parramatta and Hurstville. Attendees at Parramatta included Erna Lilje, Tim Hilton, Isabella Reich, Nathan Waters. The sole attendee for the Hurstville performance was Drew Bickford.

Jenny's backstory was documented in Daniel Mudie Cunningham's art school journal through 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