At many major museums and galleries, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections can feel sidelined into some box-ticking small gallery off the side. Not at the Chau Chak Wing Museum. Instead, Indigenous art and artefacts are interspersed throughout the collections as part of the Ambassadors series by Indigenous curator Matt Poll, which ensures that First Nations voices are prominent in the display of artefacts from their cultures. Until August 2021, the museum is showing more than 350 works from the Yolŋu people of eastern Arnhem Land in the stunning Gululu dhuwala djalkiri exhibition. Downstairs in the Penelope Gallery, Indigenous artist Daniel Boyd’s contemporary art installation Pediment/Impediment is showing until June 2021 – Boyd’s signature dot designs are projected over classical plaster casts to make a rousing commentary on colonisation.
Whether you're visiting from overseas or a curious local looking to get beyond the basics (Dot paintings? Bark paintings? Just the tip of the iceberg), these are the places to see the best of Australia's diverse Indigenous art practice.
You can also see the work of a handful of Aboriginal artists on the streets of the city: check out our hit-list of the best public art in Sydney, including Kamilaroi artist Reko Rennie's 25-metre 'Remember me' sculpture standing tall outside Carriageworks in Eveleigh.
If you are planning to go exploring in Sydney, make sure you know how to go out safely.