Exhibition dates: Birdsland Reserve Sep 25 – Dec 15, 2023

This temporary public artwork is a sculpture and communal seat titled Carabiner Bench (Nature found no fault with me). The form represents a large carabiner shape split into three sections and welcomes viewers to weave into the sculpture and take a seat to rest and reflect. The work was created by Tay Haggarty in collaboration with the Queer Art Collective (QAC) youth collaborator group and is a project of Burrinja Cultural Centre.

The carabiner is a longstanding wearable symbol within the queer community. Pre-internet, this utilitarian item was often seen holding a set of keys and placed strategically on a person’s belt or bag, as a signifier of queerness and desire to connect. The work aims to embody this historic intention and act as a catalyst for positive connections.

The title and location for the artwork are inspired by the many Collaborators who valued the importance of nature as a place of respite. Their sentiment is expanded on by prominent writer/queer theorist Leslie Feinberg, who in her book Stone Butch Blues writes “Nature held me close and seemed to find no fault with me.” Birdsland Reserve made for a fitting location: a natural sanctuary for local and visiting communities. The warm yellow used in the artwork evokes a feeling of comfort in nature, with reference to the natural warmth of the sun.

Through the artwork and accompanying public programs, we hope to create a contemplative community-orientated space where people of all ages can pause, process change and connect.

Check out our public programs below if you would like to get involved. Posting about us online? Please use the hashtag #CarabinerBench

The Queer Art Collective (QAC) is a project of Burrinja Cultural Centre designed to build meaningful social connections for young LGBTQIA+ people in their communities and create safer, more inclusive places within the Yarra Ranges. These connections are achieved through collective and side-by-side art making, art seeing, and talking about art and queerness.

A key part of the QAC project is this Temporary Public Art Project, which brought together twelve 18-25 year old queer-identifying young people as collaborators working alongside lead artist Tay Haggarty to co-design this artwork.

To come to our final design, the group participated in four creative intensive workshops focused on connection, collaboration, community and queer expression. In one session, the history of the carabiner was referenced as the group spent time creating their own customised carabiner charms. We talked through its historical context and our desire to be seen as we truly are. The ideas that came out of these workshops fueled the final design and ethos of Carabiner Bench (Nature found no fault with me). 

Find out more about the range of QAC events over the past 18-months here.

Scroll down to find out more about the Collaborators.

Twelve inspiring young people were selected to participate in the temporary public art project and have been working diligently since February 2023. During four intensive workshops these young creatives were asked to share, collaborate, make and brainstorm together, building a unique picture on what it means to be queer in 2023. The group took the time to work through complex ideas of gender, sexuality, mental health and queer joy.

Carabiner Bench (Nature found no fault with me) 2023 co-designers and Collaborators:

Ben Guerrine (he/they)
Damian McKenna (he/they)
Em/Ollie Constance (they/them)
Jordan Morise (he/they)
Jordan Treadwell (they/them)
Kate Kilduff (she/they)
Lachlan Wyness (he/they)
Louis Jenkin
Poppy Adams (they/them)
Zali Mustafa
Zeth Cameron (they/them)

Please visit the Online Exhibition featuring artwork by collaborators, images, quotes and material made during the project’s creative development. Curated by Tay Haggarty.

“Working with the collaborators at Burrinja Cultural Centre was such a joyous and healing experience. We talked through the complexities of queer joy and the nuanced experience of being queer in 2023. I have a lot of hope for the future knowing these beautiful minds are at work.” – Tay Haggarty

Tay Haggarty’s practice explores how reductive forms can be used as an open field to reflect upon personal and shared queer experience. These investigations take the form of collaborations, performances, videos, installations and sculpture. Haggarty uses industrial and ready-made materials that, when arranged within a space, heighten precarious elements through tension and balance. Their work is often minimal and site specific.


Like our project and want to support us by proudly wearing your own Carabiner Bench inspired tee shirt and help us raise money for Black Rainbow?

The Carabiner Bench T-Shirt has been designed by Tay Haggarty & Lachlan Wyness. The shirt boasts the title of the work in a special font designed by Be Oakly at Gender Fail. The typeface is inspired by protest posters from the historical queer protests of the 80s and 90s and is a homage to our radical queer past.

This price has been offered with young people in mind and our Queer and BIPOC communities. 

This price has been offered with our waged allies in mind. 

100% of all sales will be donated to Black Rainbow. Black Rainbow is a national volunteer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBTQIA+SB social enterprise to pursue positive health and wellbeing of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander LGBQTIA+SB community. Black Rainbow is a non-profit that is 100% Indigenous owned and operated.

Free pick-up and delivery within Australia.

For pick-up, please visit the Burrinja shop during opening hours:
Wed – Sun | 10 am till 4 pm
Wurundjeri Country
Cnr Glenfern Road and Matson Drive
Upwey VIC 3158

Carabiner Bench T-Shirt

Carabiner Bench T-Shirt

$35.00 – $60.00

Buy now
Image by Em/Ollie Constance ‘Sun and Moon’, 2023

Visit our Online Exhibition featuring artwork by collaborators, images, quotes and material made during the project’s creative development. Curated by Tay Haggarty.

banner image credit: 'Carabiner Bench (Nature found no fault with me) 2023' by Tay Haggarty and Collaborators, photo by Tay Haggarty


Burrinja acknowledges the Traditional Owners, the Wurrundjeri and Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation on whose lands we live and work and play.
We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this Land.
Sovereignty has never been ceded. It always was and always will be Aboriginal land.
We also acknowledge and give thanks to our diverse LGBTQIA+ elders, leaders, trail blazers and activists who have worked hard for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people and creating safer spaces and societies.