Brisbane LGBTIQ swim team Aqualicious have unveiled their plans for their colourful float in this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.
The float, titled “Let’s get physical: exercise your rights,” will incorporate fluorescent 1980s colours and pay tribute to gay icon Olivia Newton-John and LGBTIQ history.
“[The float] brings together themes of fitness, body diversity, social justice, friendship, and humour – all of which are core values of the Aqualicious swim club,” Aqualicious president Fernando Claro said.
“It’s also about embracing GLBTI histories and cultural intersections.”
He said parade participants will wear fluoro clothing and 80s-era sweatbands as they perform a routine by Queensland choreographer Grace Crossland set to Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 camp classic “Physical”.
Aqualicious have also invited their interstate friends to collaborate and join together in the spirit of friendship for the Mardi Gras Parade next month, which is celebrating “40 Years of Evolution” this year.
Queer Aboriginal artist Troy-Anthony Baylis is designing the float, and as well as the camp elements he said it will also recognise to the struggles faced by LGBTIQ people going all the way back to World War II.
“I am drawing on a range of influences: Olivia Newton-John’s ‘Physical’, Jane Fonda, Miss Piggy’s ‘Aerobique Exercise Workout Album’ and the legacy of Mardi Gras visual pioneers Ron Muncaster, Peter Tully, and David McDiarmid to inform the aesthetic,” he said.
The team have crowdfunded more than $700 of their $1000 goal to fund the float ahead of the 2018 Mardi Gras parade on Saturday, March 3.