The National at Carriageworks

Art Free
A neon blue candle on green backdrop, set n white brick wall
Photograph: Zan Wimberley | Burning Candle, 2021, Darren Sylvester

Time Out says

Big bold works have totally taken over two bays for this biennial contemporary art festival

Carriageworks has given over the vast hangar-like space of Bay 21 to contemporary art biennial show The National, as curated by Abigail Moncrieff.

Don't miss Indigenous media group Karrabing Film Collective’s powerful 30-minute work ‘Day in the Life #1’. The group takes its name from the Emmi language word for “low tide turning” and their works interrogate inequality for First Nations’ peoples of the Northern Territory. A documentary-style work, it speaks up loud and proud.

Elsewhere you can check out some really cool neon works by multi-disciplinary artist Darren Sylvester, including the funky ‘Psychic’s House’, and Brendan Van Hek’s ‘Portable Horizon (Aquamarine, midnight blue)’, which casts a vibrant glow over the space. A series of lightbox works by Alana Hunt also contribute to the glimmer as you walk through the cavernous space, filled with creativity.

Lorraine Connelly-Northey’s trio of wire sculptures and smaller wall-hanging versions ‘Narrbong Galang’ are beautiful as you enter the main space, as are the bold red and yellow stripes of a giant graph-like creation by regular collaborators Janet Burchill and Jennifer McCamley.

And don’t overlook Vernon Ah Kee, Dalisa Pigram and Marrugeku’s brilliant video installation ‘Guidirr Guidirr’ in Bay 19. A darkly comic laceration of racism in this country wrapped up in the astounding beauty of this continent, it’s one of the best films we’ve seen so far this year, and you’ll easily lose half an hour or more in its astounding gravitational pull.

“Collaboration, kinship and sociality threads throughout the work of the 13 artists and collectives at Carriageworks, with each work navigating the measure and texture of our actions and engagement with the world around us,” Montcrieff says. “These urgent voices from around Australia speak to our complicated and fractured present, and within this, offer hope for a renewed future.”

Here’s our guide to what you can see elsewhere in The National.

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