Where is Juanita Nielsen? The Sydney exhibition to the local activist

Juanita Nielsen

January will see the Sydney launch of Zanny Begg’s acclaimed installation The Beehive; a video artwork that explores the unsolved murder of Sydney activist Juanita Nielsen.

Juanita was a journalist, style-icon, heiress and anti-development campaigner and she fought against the violent eviction of tenants on Victoria Street, Kings Cross.

She disappeared on the 4th of July 1975 and now, more than 40 years later, her body has never been found and no one has been charged. This is the first time the installation will be seen in Sydney, and just a few streets from where she was last seen. The exhibition opens 5 January at UNSW Galleries in Paddington for Sydney Festival.

What to expect?

The work is assembled from a reservoir of scripted fictions, documentary interviews and choreographed sequences. The film is ever-changing, as the footage is randomly selected for each screening with 1,344 possible variations, offering different glimpses and interpretations of this infamous true crime. The artwork presents a kaleidoscopic portrait of Juanita with multiple actors playing the role, including respected theatre actors, Pamela Rabe, who stars in the Australian prison drama Wentworth.

Why it’s so good.

Beehive was critically acclaimed when unveiled in Melbourne in July. But this is the first time it will be presented in Sydney, just a few blocks from where Juanita was last seen alive. It is an important Sydney story, but it also has relevance to audiences nationally as the work explores gentrification, corruption, sexwork, feminism, housing justice and non-conventional lifestyles.


Where: UNSW Galleries
Address: Cnr. Oxford St and Greens Rd, Paddington
Tel:  02 89360888
When: 5 January – 23 February 2019,
Tuesday – Saturday, 10am-5pm (closed public holidays)
Tickets: Free
Public Program: Radical Sydney runs 5 January – 23 February 2019
Website: See more at the exhibit website