Arts & Entertainment

The Beehive

Photo courtesy of Philippa Batemen.

True crime stories are typically told through the film, television or book medium however the UNSW Galleries are currently playing host to an exhibition which tells a true crime story through art.

The Beehive is an acclaimed video installation created by Zanny Begg and produced by Philippa Bateman in association with the Sydney Festival. The experimental non-linear documentary installation explores the unsolved murder of Sydney anti-development campaigner and glamorous style icon Juanita Nielsen.

Nielsen was a journalist, style-icon, heiress and activist who campaigned against the violent eviction of tenants on Victoria Street Kings Cross, who were being pushed out to make way for apartment blocks. A story eerily similar to scenes being witnessed today. Nielsen disappeared on July 4, 1975, after a business appointment at the Carousel Cabaret and more than 40 years later her body is still yet to be found, nor has anybody been charged.

The Beehive 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.

This is the first time the exhibition has been displayed in Sydney, and it’s just mere blocks from the location Nielsen was last seen alive.

Get down to the UNSW Galleries and come to your own conclusions.

Until Feb 23. UNSW Galleries, Cnr. Oxford St & Greens Rd, Paddington. FREE. Info:

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