Emily McDaniel, from from the Kalari Clan of the Wiradjuri nation, is one of the busiest young curators working in Sydney at the moment. For this exhibition at UTS Gallery, she's pulling together works from a diverse range of Aboriginal contemporary artists across drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics, video and photography, all looking into “the void”. There are artists that are relative newcomers, joining with elders with extraordinary careers in art. “Art is defined as much by what it is, as what it isn't,” McDaniel says. “Artists express what we don't have words for and that's certainly what you’ll find with the Indigenous artists that have been included in this exhibition. Indigenous artists are innovative, constantly changing and finding new ways to articulate old ways... The challenge that I come across so often with working with audiences in creating experiences around contemporary Aboriginal art is breaking free of the expectation of consistency.” The line-up of artists includes: Hayley Millar-Baker, Danièle Hromek, Jonathan Jones, Mabel Juli, John Mawurndjul AM, Dr Thancoupie Gloria Fletcher AO, Andy Snelgar, James Tylor, Jennifer Wurrkidj and Josephine Wurrkidj.
Halloween comes early to the Cement Fondu gallery in Paddington with this artsy take on our obsession with horror and the post-apocalyptic world. It features photography, ceramics, projections, contemporary dance and, ahem, Muslim black death metal, from Australian and international artists interested in ideas of decay, mutation and destruction. Visitors can walk through a room-sized haunted house installation which reimagines and recreates scenes from gory B-grade horror flicks, catch the Australian premiere of choreographer Angela Goh’s new work 'Body Loss', and see works by international artists Loretta Fahrenholz and Phillip Stearns. The exhibition kicks off with an opening night party featuring American photographer and performance artist Jaimie Warren on October 6. Read about the Warm Bodies Halloween party on November 3.
This year’s NAIDOC Week theme celebrates the achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to their community, families, and our nation. In this free exhibition, visitors can see the work of leading female practitioners in their fields of weaving and shell stringing. The innovative works highlight the unbroken practices of First Nations women who have carried their knowledge through the generations for at least 65,000 years. The exhibition includes intricate body wear, which has been skilfully crafted by harvesting and processing organic and contemporary feathers, fibres and shells. It also features domestic fishing implements made from organic material.Artists featured in the exhibition include Lena Yarinkura, Dulcie Greeno, Maryann Sebasio, Muriel Maynard, Ais Bero, Lola Greeno, Mavis Warrngilna Ganambarr and Rosemary Gamajun Mamuniny.
This virtual-reality film has just wowed audiences at the Venice International Film Festival, and now Carriageworks has scored a coup in screening it in Australia. The creation of artist and director Lynette Wallworth and producer Nicole Newnham, who picked up an Emmy for their last VR film, Collisions, Awavena was made at the invitation of Brazilian Amazonian Yawanawa people and tells the story of Hushahu, the tribe’s first female shaman. The film will be accompanied by a free public exhibition, including a walk-through extension of the film called The Blessing Space, where visitors are given a portable VR backpack and allowed to roam the Yawanawa forest and explore it for themselves.
Did you know the lower North Shore had its own mini creative movement in the '70s and early '80s? The leafy bayside suburb of Lavender Bay was home to some of Sydney’s most loved and talented artists, which meant it was a rich hot spot of bohemian talent. Sydney Living Museums' new exhibition Bohemian Harbour: Artists of Lavender Bay will capture this time, showcasing rarely seen archival works from private and public collections. See paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and experimental films, which celebrate the area and Sydney culture at large. Many of the works are accompanied by extracts from interviews with the artists, which explore the connections that made Lavender Bay an extraordinary hub of talent. You'll see works by artists and residents of the 2060, including Brett Whiteley, Peter Kingston, Tom Carment, Philip Cox, Joel Elenberg, Robert Jacks, Rollin Schlicht, Martin Sharp, Garry Shead and Tim Storrier. Bohemian Harbour: Artists of Lavender Bay also recognises the ongoing pursuits of local artists and identities Wendy Whiteley and Peter Kingston who treasure the suburb's rich artistic heritage and natural tranquillity.
All good design should be functional, but the work in this show extends even beyond that, with design responding to the world’s most pressing social, ethical and environmental challenges. This doesn’t just mean that the designs on show are made from sustainable materials, but many offer up new solutions in and of themselves. So expect to see and interact with groundbreaking technology as well as traditional manufacturing practices put to new use. The exhibition features the work of international designers Nendo, Studio Swine, Bijoy Jain, Jo Nagasaka, Kwangho Lee and WOHA, alongside locals Ken Wong, Lucy McRae and Henry Wilson. Common Good is part of the 20th Sydney Design Festival.
Renowned for his arresting stop-motion video installations, William Kentridge is the best-known contemporary artist working in South Africa today. In this exhibition, curated by the artist himself, visitors can trace the development of his career, from his interest in opera and early cinema to his preoccupation with the nexus between art, ideology, history and memory as a witness to South Africa’s apartheid era. Highlights of the exhibition include one of Kentridge’s most ambitious and celebrated video installations, the eight channel 'I am not me, the horse is not mine 2008', which appeared as part of the 16th Biennale of Sydney on Cockatoo Island, as well as works across sculpture, film, charcoal, collage and tapestry, and a recreation of the artist’s studio. To coincide with the exhibition, Opera Australia will stage a new production of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, directed and illustrated by Kentridge, at Sydney Opera House throughout January.
The foyer installation at White Rabbit always sets the tone for each exhibition, but the one that greets visitors to Supernatural is a pretty big statement. Hanging high above the gallery are ten life-like nude figures. They have the body of a man, but from the chest up they’re dragonflies, complete with four wings and bulbous eyes. The sculptures, called ‘Deviation’, are modelled on the artist Li Shan’s own body (apart from the dragonfly bits, obviously), and are designed to “eliminate the human superiority complex”: we don’t have 360-degree vision, can’t fly, and definitely can’t fly backwards. Why do we think we’re superior? The rest of the exhibition isn’t so much about biological transformation, but more about the way our world has transformed over the thousands of years that humans have dominated. And of course, given the exhibition’s title, there’s a touch of the supernatural about it all. Highlights include: Huang Zhen’s wire sculptures on the second floor, made to resemble the Wuyi Mountains from his home province of Fujian; Xiao Yu’s transformative bamboo sculptures, Zhu Jinshi’s dramatic oil painting which uses thick slabs of paint to form mountains; Chen Wei's urban landscape photography; Qiu Anxiong's whimsical 3D animation; and Ai Weiwei’s ‘Oil Spill’, featuring glossy black porcelain disks that look like droplets of oil. And make sure you head up to the top floor (some people may forget that you need to take the lift to see the full exhibition) where Yang
The Museum of Contemporary Art has closed the doors on one of its most successful exhibitions ever, Pipilotti Rist: Sip My Ocean. The blockbuster show, featuring large-scale light, video works and installations, was a veritable explosion of colour and became a social media sensation over the summer, with 110,000 people visiting and Instagramming their way through. But for next year's big summer exhibition, the MCA is changing directions drastically and presenting an exhibition of mostly black-and-white photos by South African photographer David Goldblatt. If you're not part of the visual arts or photography worlds, you probably won't have heard of Goldblatt, whose images have traced the changing face of South Africa from the start of apartheid at the end of the 1940s through to 1991, when it was dismantled. But MCA director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor says most hadn't heard of Pipilotti Rist before her exhibition, the MCA's contribution to this summer's Sydney International Art Series, which had previously had exhibitions from heavyweights like Anish Kapoor, Yoko Ono and Grayson Perry. Macgregor describes the Rist exhibition as a big risk that paid off. "We really were a little concerned about it," she says. "It's not a name with a wide resonance outside of the art world – but how wrong were we?" Macgregor is hoping that the MCA will be able to attract a similar audience of people under 35 to engage with Goldblatt's work, but she says it will be a significant challenge gi
The Art Gallery of NSW's Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age attracted 130,000 people last summer, showcasing works from the 17th century held by Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. For this summer (2018-19), the AGNSW is travelling east and skipping forward a few centuries with 65 paintings from St Petersburg's Hermitage Museum. There are more than 3 million items held in the Hermitage – and most aren't on permanent display – so picking works for a single exhibition is a bit of a tough ask. But this exhibition, called Masters of Modern Art from the Hermitage (October 13 to March 3 2019), focuses on works from the late 19th century and the early 20th century, showing the evolution from impressionism to modernism. And we're not getting dusty and forgotten works from the gallery's store spaces: almost all are currently on display at the Hermitage. (AGNSW director Michael Brand says you might want to delay any trip you may have planned to St Petersburg from October through March if you're wanting to see modern art – many of the Hermitage's best works will be in Sydney.) There are eight works by Picasso, including his 'Woman with a Fan', and eight by Matisse. There's also work from Monet, Cézanne, Kandinsky and Gauguin, and one of Russian artist Malevich's highly influential 'Black Square' paintings. The exhibition will have a strong focus on French art from the 1910s, when Russian collectors Sergei Shchukin were Ivan Morozov collecting the most groundbreaking modern art in Paris. The e