Carriageworks becomes a playground for art lovers with this annual four-day art fair and festival featuring talks, performances and installations
Don’t know your Banksy from your Basquiat or your Kusama from your Kapoor? You don’t need to be a contemporary art expert to enjoy Australia’s largest international art fair.
From September 13 to 16, Sydney Contemporary will turn Carriageworks into a paradise for art lovers, with talks, performances and installations, not to mention a who’s who of Australian and Asian art galleries and a cross-section of works by international artists.
Artists with work on sale will include international big hitters such as Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, David Hockney and James Turrell, as well as Australian artists including Janet Laurence, Tamara Dean, Fiona Lowry, Tony Albert, Reko Rennie, Peter Adsett and Ben Quilty, and works by emerging (and potentially more affordable) artists from across the Asia Pacific.
Highlights include Patricia Piccinini’s vast installation of 3,000 genetically modified flowers called 'The Field' and Jean Debuffet’s four metre-high sculpture work, 'L’Incivil', which was recently shown as part of a major sculpture exhibition at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum.
If your budget only stretches to looking rather than buying, there’s also a busy program of installations, performances, talks and screenings, many of which are free to the public.
The ACMI-curated Video Contemporary section features a line-up of short video works in a dedicated screening room; Installation Contemporary has a series of 17 small and large scale installation works, including the Jean Debuffet; Performance Contemporary is a program of live performances curated by artist Emma Price; and Talk Contemporary is a series of free talks and discussion panels on everything from the role of art and design in the home to the underrepresentation of women in contemporary art galleries. Meanwhile, at Barangaroo, three contemporary artists, Callum Morton, Mel O’Callaghan and Cameron Robbins, have created site-specific installations that will be attracting visitors in the lead up to the fair.
All this art-ogling will make you hungry, so head for the pop-ups by some of Sydney’s best restaurants, or kick back at the Beluga Vodka Bar or Handpicked Art Bar.
The fun kicks off at Sydney Contemporary’s Opening Night party (Thursday September 13, 5-9pm) with performances, live music and course, art, for $50 ($55 at the door). Tickets to the fair start at $25 for adults, or splash out on the VIP Art Passport, which includes unlimited entry to the fair and a VIP program of discussions and studio tours.
While you're at Carriageworks, check out Patricia Piccinini's field of 3,000 "genetically modified" flowers.