- Category : Art-Fine-art-artist
- Type : GP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Split - Large
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Dominion 1
New Zealand-Australian artist, journalist, publisher, and writer, Cath Phillips is one of the most prominent lesbians in Australia, having served as the first female president of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Leaving behind her youth with a Protestant family on a sheep farm in New Zealand, Phillips moved to Sydney to join the lesbian feminist's collective. Holding a Graduate Diploma of Art, she came to attention as an artist after being arrested on 4/12/1988 for uncovering her sculpture, "Butch Maison: The Palace at Femme," after it had been concealed by police at the Mildura Sculpture Triennial in rural New South Wales. A week earlier the artwork had been censored by authorities after being ruled "obscene" because a caption painted on the work included the "c" word for the female pudendum. She served two days in Mildura jail in December 1988 after refusing to pay fines for "exhibiting an obscene expression in a public place." As such, she was one of few, if any, Australian artists to be jailed for exhibiting their work.
In 1987 Phillips became one of the first women elected to the Mardi Gras Board, later becoming its first woman president and general manager, 1989-91. She also organized Mardi Gras' membership in the worldwide Federation of Gay Games. Phillips was founding member and publisher of Sydney's periodical "Queer Lit," newspaper "Capital Q Weekly" 1993-2000, and the magazine "Burn: Proud to Be Different" 1993-94. She also served as director of Sydney Gay & Lesbian Community Publishing Ltd, and as director of "Queer Screen," the annual Mardi Gras film festival.
Phillips' first novel, "River's Edge" 1997, which features detective Jane Stewart, is about "murder and corruption, retribution and redemption." Cath Phillips is an avid sea kayaker and she lives on a secluded island near the mouth of the picturesque Hawkesbury River just north of Sydney. She currently serves on the board for the Sydney Gay Games in 2002.