Your guide to contemporary, fine and Indigenous art in Sydney
The best places to see art in Sydney
Sydney is busting at the seams with great art – from major institutions like the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art, to incredible privately-owned but publically accessible (and free!) galleries like White Rabbit and Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, and right down to a thriving scene of independent and artist-run initiatives. Below are some of our favourites.
Upcoming events and exhibitions
News and interviews
Wednesday nights = Culture Up Late
Arts Minister Troy Grant's previously-announced Wednesday-night program Culture Up Late launches tonight – Wednesday January 11 – with a program of events taking place at the Art Gallery of NSW, the Australian Museum, Carriageworks, the Powerhouse Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the State Library of NSW, and Sydney Opera House. Every Wednesday through January and February you'll be able to head to these venues after work for access to exhibitions and a range of special programs and offers. Art Gallery of NSW will continue its existing Wednesday-night late-night program, Art After Hours (they're also running the Nude at Night program on Thursday and Friday nights in January). The MCA, meanwhile, have moved their weekly Lights on Later series from Thursdays to Wednesdays. The Australian Museum will offer 2-for-1 entry on Wednesday nights, giving you access to their regular exhibits and current exhibitions (including Spiders: Alive and Deadly) as well as the chance to experience Lynette Wallworth’s immersive virtual reality work Collisions, which takes you to remote central Australia and invites you into the landscape and memories of Martu elder Nyarri Nyarri Morgan. Collisions is only viewable to the public on Wednesday nights, as part of the Culture Up Late program. Head to the Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo for after-hours access to their current exhibition Egyptian Mummies; and to its sister venue Sydney Observatory for twilight tours and night-time star gazing. C
Carriageworks reveal their 2017 program
Carriageworks has revealed its 2017 program of art, performance and music – including hyped shows from interstate and overseas, world premieres, and the return of favourite events including the queer performance/dance party Day For Night, Indigenous musical festival Klub Koori, and a new series of Night Markets. Perhaps the most exciting component – announced earlier this year – is the inaugural edition of The National, a new biennial of contemporary Australian art focusing on site-specific commissions, and running across Carriageworks, the MCA and Art Gallery of New South Wales. The Carriageworks edition, curated by director Lisa Havilah and visual arts head Nina Miall, will run March 30-June 18, and include work by Archie Moore, Justene Williams and Richard Lewer, among others. Justene Williams ‘Two Fold’ performance still at Heide Museum of Modern Art, 2016Photograph: Andy Nowell In terms of international treats, Italian theatre renegades Motus are bringing their hybrid show MDLSX to Carriageworks in mid-March after a short run at Adelaide Festival. Starring androgynous DJ Silvia Calderoni, the show blends her home videos and autobiography with Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel Middlesex and a DJ set to explore queer identity. It looks heady. MDLSX by MOTUS from ALBAMADA on Vimeo. In terms of anticipated inter-state works, Melbourne Festival hit Lady Eats Apple, by Geelong-based theatre ensemble Back to Back Theatre (behind internationally acclaimed shows Ganesh Ve
Art Gallery of NSW 2017 season
By now you know that the Art Gallery of New South Wales are stripping off for summer and welcoming a host of nudes. And they’re staying sexy in 2017, with highlights from their just-announced program including a Mapplethorpe exhibition, a pre-Pop Warhol survey with a strong queer thread (opening in conjunction with Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras), an exhibition dedicated to Brett Whiteley’s nudes, a focus on female painters that includes American artist Georgia O’Keeffe, and a solo show by Surrealist photomedia artist Pat Brassington, called The Body Electric. Between Mapplethorpe, O’Keeffe and Brassington, expect to never look at flowers the same way again. Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium (opening October 2017) will offer a ‘new view’ of an iconoclast and champion of New York’s queer subculture in the 1970s and 1980s. Curated by Isobel Parker Philip (AGNSW’s assistant curator for photography), the show will feature portraits, still lifes and figure studies on loan from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the J. Paul Getty Museum, who jointly acquired a massive trove of artwork and archival material from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation in 2011 – making them the go-to source for his work. In other words: expect this show to be authoritative. Mapplethorpe will be rubbing shoulders with his New York contemporary Andy Warhol, also featured in the AGNSW’s 2017 program. Adman: Warhol Before Pop (opening February 2017) will also seek to give another view
'Culture Night' is going to transform Wednesday nights
From January 2017, and throughout summer, Sydney's major arts and culture institutions will stay open late on Wednesday nights. This week, Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant announced the new 'Wednesday Night Culture Night' initiative, which is one of the early suggestions coming out of the freshly formed Arts & Culture Advisory Committee. Another suggestion they're hoping to implement is a all-in-one pass to Sydney's key cultural institutions. At this point, institutions taking part in the Wednesday Night Culture Night are the Museum of Contemporary Art (who stay open til 9pm on Thursdays for Lights On Later, but will switch to Wednesday nights for summer), the Art Gallery of NSW (who are already doing Art After Hours on Wednesdays, all year round), the Australian Museum, and the State Library of NSW. But Grant says "This is just the start. We hope more cultural organisations and events get behind Wednesday Night Culture Night." So who and what is this Arts & Culture Advisory Committee? Announced on Sunday October 23, the group currently includes the chairs of the State cultural institutions, as well as "influential figures from across the arts and cultural sector" – including theatre-maker and Sydney Festival artistic director Wesley Enoch, filmmaker and social entrepreneur Genevieve Clay-Smith, John Kaldor (of Kaldor Public Art Projects), ARIA CEO Dan Rosen, and Campbelltown Arts Centre director Michael Dagostino. Announced on Sunday October 23, the gr
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Summer festival of fun at Kingpin
This summer get a crew together and head down to Kingpin to enjoy festival style fun, all in the one place. For just $30 you'll score a festival pass, which allows you to mix and match Kingpin's all-star games and activities. Score a strike at bowling, aim and fire in laser tag or get your joystick on with 30 minutes of arcade game frenzy. All this gaming is going to require some fuel, so make sure you load up on drink and food specials. You can get a fruity Pimms jugs for just $25 and there are lots of ace options for groups, like the Mexican share plate which comes with build-your-own fajitas and tacos. There are also mega burgers, curly fries, Kentucky buffalo wings, southern fried chicken sliders and nachos. Plus, when you purchase your summer festival pass, you'll automatically be in the running for awesome giveaways. Prize packs filled with the sweetest summer swag includes Eskys, round beach towels, GoPros, wireless speakers, a $100 Sunglass Hut voucher and heaps more. Both Kingpin Darling Harbour and Kingpin Macarthur will be hosting the ultimate summer festival of fun offers every day from 10am-6pm, and both venues have fully licensed bars and themed music to keep you dancing as you play. Find out more about Kingpin's summer festival of fun.
The Burger Project is making your summer soft serve dreams come true
Summer is here and Sydney is heating up. Want to know the best way to cool down? A tasty soft serve ice cream is a pretty good option... And when they are only $2? well that's even better. Head into Burger Project – at World Square Centre, Bondi Junction, MLC Centre, Gateway Sydney and Macquarie Centre – to get your hands on a deliciously rich soft serve cone. They are usually $4.50 but every weekend throughout January you can get your hands around one for a cool couple of bucks. The soft serve is churned in-house daily and made using fresh dairy cream and milk, with all natural flavourings. Choose from real vanilla bean or Valrhona chocolate, swirled into a crunchy waffle cone. Meaning the hardest decision you'll have to make this summer may just be the age-old question: chocolate or vanilla?
Hotel Bondi launches a new summer menu
Hotel Bondi has just launched a new summer menu, which is perfect for digging into after a day at the beach or closing out your weekend on. Starters include Baja fish tacos, flash fried calamari or a bucket of Crystal Bay prawns. Freshen things up with a salad, like the ocean trout ceviche with ruby red grapefruit and cucumber or seared yellow fin tuna with seaweed, pickled radish and avocado. They also have a brand new fire pizza oven, from which they'll be dishing out favourites like Hawaiian and Margarita, alongside sizzling additions like the carmalised onion and black fig pizza with goats curd and thyme, or the chilli prawn with tomatoes, spring onion and lemon. You'll also find pub classics like a parmesan crumbed veal schnitzel with pickle and fennel slaw, or the Bondi grilled Angus burger. Also keep your eye out for $15 weekday specials of chicken parmi and fries, a 200g ebony Angus top sirloin with mash or fries or a beer battered dory with chips and tartar. The bistro's extended summer hours mean you can get dinner or lunch Mon-Fri noon-3pm and 5-10pm and Sat & Sun noon-10pm. So get down and enjoy a slice of summer at Hotel Bondi.