VALE Chrissy Amphlett

Australian Rock icon Chrissy Amphlett sadly lost her long battle with cancer yesterday.

Chrissy Amphlett was born in Geelong and became one of the most powerful, ambitious and successful front-women of the 1980s and 1990s. She formed the Divinyls in 1980, first performing in and around Sydney’s Kings Cross.

Somewhat shy by nature, Amphlett drew upon the inspiration of her heroes Wendy Saddington and Janis Joplin to discover her powerful performance métier – the stage persona of a tempestuous schoolgirl.

“And so when I put the school uniform on, it once-removed me because I had a character, also the school uniform was very submissive. So then I had to juxtaposition myself against that, and I became assertive. So somehow wearing suspenders and stockings made me…’don’t fuck with me then.’”

In 2006 Amphlett donated this unassuming costume to the Performing Arts Collection - a simple black tunic which helped Amphlett to reveal her on-stage persona to adoring audiences.
In 2006 Amphlett donated this unassuming costume to the Performing Arts Collection – a simple black tunic which helped Amphlett to reveal her on-stage persona to adoring audiences.

During the 1980s and 1990s Amphlett collaborated as a songwriter with other artists, and played several roles in stage productions, including the 1998 Australian production of The Boy From Oz alongside Todd McKenney. Amphlett recently featured in Arts Centre Melbourne’s Rock Chicks Exhibition in 2010.

Her legacy will no doubt continue to inspire generations of women on stage in Australian rock for many years to come.

Published by

Performing Arts Collection

Arts Centre Melbourne's Performing Arts Collection is the national leader among specialist performing arts collections in Australia. Established in 1975, it is formally recognised as a State collection and encompasses the history of circus, dance, music, opera and theatre. The Collection features over 640,000 items including costumes, designs, photographs, set models, puppets, props, posters, programs and archives.

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