While the smorgasbord of creativity that is annual art fair Sydney Contemporary will not proceed in real life this year, there was no way the organisers were going to leave struggling artists high and dry.
Instead, they’ve joined the digital wave, launching an immersive online variation, Sydney Contemporary Presents 2020. It will run for the duration of October. And it’s no small order, either. The staggering line-up of visual excellence includes more than 450 new works from north of 380 artists. The theme that binds them all together is a creative response to the new normal of these interesting times.
The digital platform highlights multidisciplinary work from painting to photography, video art to sculpture. Major names like Ben Quilty, Lisa Reihana and Brook Andrew have contributed. They're joined by brilliant colleagues like Isabelle de Kleine, Juz Kitson, Julie Fragar, Jelena Telecki, Lindy Lee, Oh Seung Yul, Guan Wei Daniel Agdag, Zico Albaiquni, Atong Atem, Juan Davila and many more. Many of the works were created while in lockdown, with limited access to studios and materials.
Abdul Abdullah was commissioned by Sydney Contemporary to come up with the event logo, as well as fielding work for the show. “It has been a strange time for everyone, and artists are no exception,” he says. “I think we’ve all had a chance for self-reflection, and I think the uncertainty will forge new creative pathways.”
Barry Keldoulis, director of Sydney Contemporary, agrees. He knew the team had to step in to offer a new solution without a physical fair. “The organisation wanted to do something that would stimulate sales and support artists and their galleries,” he says. “Our custom-made platform creates a place for seasoned collectors and emerging art lovers alike to explore and buy new work by exciting contemporary artists.”
It’s a monumental time when a lot of us are thinking about how we can help those doing it tough in our own small way. Keldoulis notes that Sydney Contemporary Presents is “a chance to acquire not just an artwork, but a memory. Something to look upon that was created during this unforgettable year."
You can join the arty party online here.
Want to see masterpieces brought to vivid life? Check out Van Gogh Alive.