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  1. Wona Bee and Charlie Lawler draw you in with their haunting work ‘Regenerator’, a suspended row of seven charcoal circles
    Photograph: Diana Pannucio | Regenerator, 2021
  2. A woman admires photographic portraits of two topless men wearing traditional jewellery
    Photograph: Anna Kucera | Photograph of Jacob, 2020, Maree Clarke
  3. A beautiful tapestry depicting a blue dingo against a collage of images
    Photograph: Mim Sterling | detail, Assemblage of the Fragmented Landscape, 2020, Mehwish Iqbal
  4. A neon blue candle on green backdrop, set n white brick wall
    Photograph: Zan Wimberley | Burning Candle, 2021, Darren Sylvester
  5. A woman walks in front of a wall of wire hanging sculptures not unlike handbags
    Photograph: Zan Wimberley | Narrbong Galang, 2021, Lorraine Connelly-Northey

The National 2021: New Australian Art

Sydney’s biggest festival of Australian art is back, taking over three of our favourite cultural institutions

Written by
Stephen A Russell

While the Biennale of Sydney might be all about international artists making local waves, The National is all about our local contemporary artists and the waves they’re making here and around the world. Appropriately, it takes place in the “off” years of the Biennale, kicking off in 2017, continuing in 2019 and returning this year, handily skipping over the 2020 that wasn't. 

Showcasing 39 artists, collectives and collaborations across Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), The National year has been curated by Matt Cox and Erin Vink (AGNSW), Abigail Moncrieff (Carriageworks), and Rachel Kent (MCA). 

With so much to soak up, we have pulled together an invaluable guide for you below, divvied up by venue. 

RECOMMENDED: The best art exhibitions to see in Sydney.

Want more?

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