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Giselle Stanboroug's 'Cinopticon' at the newly reopened Carriageworks
Photograph: Mark PokornyGiselle Stanboroug's 'Cinopticon' at the newly reopened Carriageworks

Carriageworks will officially reopen next week with a newly installed Biennale show

The venue will re-open on August 7, welcoming a new installation, re-housing Biennale highlights and the beloved market

Written by
Stephen A Russell

Good news has been in short supply for the arts of late, but there's cause for celebration in the saving of Carriageworks. Returning bigger and better than ever, after a grim few months where it looked like we might lose the cultural institution housed in the historic Eveleigh rail yards, they'll throw open the doors once more on Friday, August 7.

“The future of Carriageworks has been secured thanks to extraordinary support from a group of donors and commitment to providing a long-term precinct lease from the NSW Government,” CEO Blair French said. “The impact of our closure has been felt across a wide range of communities. We are now excited to welcome the public back.”

Making this triumphant return even sweeter, they’ve managed to save a big chunk of the Biennale of Sydney that’s been missing in action since everything went south. With their original exhibition space, the National Art School, remaining closed, Carriageworks will now house the works of eight artists and collectives that were curated by Biennale’s first Indigenous Australian artistic director, Brook Andrew.

That includes the return of local artist Tony Albert, further exploring his Blacktown Native Institution project, which raises awareness about the Stolen Generations. He’ll be joined by artists from the Northern Territory’s Iltja Ntjarra/Many Hands Art Centre, run by descendants of Albert Namatjira.

The Aussie cohort includes Andrew Rewald, MzRizk, Trent Walter and Stuart Geddes, as well as intriguing works presented by the Art Centre, a science research project based on Lord Howes Island in the Tasman Sea. Looking at plastic pollution, they present their findings in an impactful, artistic way that hopefully inspires change. The international contingent welcomes the UK’s Hannah Catherine Jones, Canada’s Randy Lee Cutler, plus Mexico’s Teresa Margolles.

Culture-hungry eyes will also be spoiled by the sight of a brand new installation by Australian artist Giselle Stanborough. Unveiled for the first time, after being sideswiped by the lockdown, large-scale work 'Cinopticon' combines digital projections, searchlights and colossal wall diagrams to explore our social media obsession. It joins Kamilaroi artist Reko Rennie’s striking neon work ‘Remember Me’, which is suspended above Carriageworks’ access ramps.

All this and August 8 marks the return of Saturday arvo ritual the Carriageworks Farmers Market. You’ll be able to get your mitts on fresh seasonal produce sourced from across NSW once more, though the meandering will be limited, with strict distancing measure in place and a strict get-what-you-need-and-go approach encouraged.

Carriageworks will open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am-5pm, from August 7, with the Farmers Market weekly from Saturday, August 8, 8am-1pm.

Excited to see some edge-pushing art? Here's our guide to the Biennale of Sydney

This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas

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