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Object: Bag, ’Dolly does Devotion’

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Title Bag, ’Dolly does Devotion’
Production McLean, Colin (assemblage artist), 1997, Petone
Materials plastic, synthetic fibre
Classification bags
Credit line Purchased 1997 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
Registration number GH005698
This backpack-style bag was assembled by Colin McLean (also known as the drag performer Polly Filla) and worn for the annual 'Devotion' festival in Wellington in 1997 and is called 'Dolly does Devotion'. 'Fabulous Sweetie' was a popular phrase at the time from the British television comedy Absolutely Fabulous.

Devotion dance parties and parades were held annually in Wellington in the 1990s. Devotion was one of New Zealand's biggest LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community events at that time. Along with the Hero Festival in Auckland, the dance parties, parades, film festivals and associated activities drew huge crowds. They were vibrant and safe places to publicly express identity and sexuality, and were welcoming to all.

The 1990s saw a blossoming of gay and lesbian pride, following on from Homosexual Law Reform in 1986. The Devotion and Hero festivals were some of the more public expressions of change in New Zealand society.

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