Gladys Moncrieff is the subject of the Dressing Glad exhibition which aims to share little-known stories of the famous Bundaberg songstress
The Dressing Glad exhibition, hosted at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery, pays homage to the talents of the Bundaberg-born musical theatre sensation while unveiling her colourful life she lived in the local region and beyond.
It tells Gladys' story from the perspective of her long-time companion and dresser Elsie Wilson through a soundscape recording aired by the ABC in the late 1970s, after she had passed away.
Exhibition curator Shelley Pisani said the exhibition provided visitors with insight into the life behind ‘Our Glad’.
“While we have all heard of her, this exhibition gives us a personal glimpse behind the very professional, composed performer that Gladys was,” Shelley said.
“You can sit on the chaise in the recreated dressing room, admire the costume worn by Gladys in her performance of ‘Katinka’ and listen to Elsie reflect on their time together.
“The wonderful companionship that she formed with Gladys, the respect she had for her talents and the way she tells Gladys’ story gives you a personal perspective that the history books can’t portray.”
Shelley curated the Dressing Glad exhibition, having spent many years having conversations with members of the Our Glad Association and exploring their collections to gather inspiration for the exhibition.
“Their stories and passion for all things Gladys Moncrieff led to the development of the concept along with the discovery of the ABC interview with Elsie Wilson,” she said.
“The exhibition is an installation and immersive experience, where you can sit in the “dressing room” and listen to the story.
“Gladys did a lot of charitable work during the war and performed for soldiers to much acclaim and there is so much more to know about her.”
Shelley said she felt grateful to have the opportunity to curate the exhibition exclusively for Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery.
“It has been a privilege to combine my love for the arts and heritage of our region and curate this exhibition in a space that I used to work in,” she said.
“It has been a trip down memory lane to be working back at the gallery and I am thankful to the Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery team and the Our Glad Association for entrusting me to tell the story.”
Council’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the Dressing Glad exhibition was a great opportunity for the community to learn more about the great Gladys Moncrieff.
“I recommend taking time to sit and enjoy Elsie’s story of Gladys whilst looking at her costume from the 1940s and placing yourself backstage at a theatre at the time,” Cr Learmonth said.
“This is a great story that showcases the history of those who called the Bundaberg Region home.”
The exhibition opens on Saturday 13 November.
Find out more here.