One of the coolest things about Sydney Festival is that heaps of events are free. In fact, having free events during SydFest is part of the unwritten deal – the spit and handshake – between a city and its major summer festival that draws thousands of people to hotspots like Hyde Park, Parramatta Park and the Domain every year. If you're short on cash but want to make sure you get your culture fix, take a look at the many free and cheap ways to make the most of this year's festival.
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This collaborative project between the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and Art Month Sydney matches new music with new public art to explore the heritage of the Barangaroo site. BDA commissioned Gondwana Indigenous Children’s Choir and their young resident composer, Alice Chance, to compose six songs in response to the site and to Barangaroo the woman. Art Month Sydney then selected Sydney artists (Tony Albert, Karen Black, Joan Ross, Reko Rennie and Gemma Smith) to match with five songs and create a new artwork to adorn one of the many construction hoardings in the area. The sixth song is a pure soundscape, playing on a loop from 10am-5pm daily (until April 17) in the Cutaway space.
The Entertainment Quarter is reintroducing its weekly Wednesday and Saturday morning markets as Moore Park Produce Market, giving farmers, chefs and food producers a direct link to customers and a place where shoppers can ask questions about the produce from the people who grow or prepare the food. Produce is sourced from New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. Chef Matt Kemp, the market’s curator, is keen to ensure producers are getting a fair price for their products and that customers can engage with the stallholders through conversation, workshops or tours at the markets. The Wednesday market is focused on food and the Saturday market is geared towards family activities with a focus on growing and sustainability.
French-Algerian artist Kader Attia spent the early part of his career directly working with communities in and from Africa affected by colonisation and its aftermath. Perhaps it's no wonder then that he creates installation works that explore cultural exchange and the relationship between the West and the wider world. This survey, curated by the MCA's Rachel Kent, features sculptural installations and video works, including the 2007 installation 'Ghost', in which 160 life-size aluminium-foil figures appear to kneel at prayer in formation.
The MCA's collection hang is where you go to get an overview of Australian contemporary art – and it's less daunting than it sounds. The last time they curated the hang was in 2012 (MCA Collection: Volume One), for the launch of the re-designed building, so there are a whola lotta new eye-candies to wrap your brain around. Although several works in the first room of the exhibition do take 'time' as their theme (including Stuart Ringholt's giant clock) curator Natasha Bullock, who masterminded the new hang, says the theme is more broadly connected to the ways in which the works in the show connected to histories of different kinds. Bullock deliberately messed with the Western linear notion of time in the exhibition's title, and explains that the indigenous concept of time would be better visualised in a circular pattern, in which present, future and past are connected. Artists in Today Tomorrow Yesterday include: Vernon Ah Kee, James Angus, Barbara Cleveland Institute (formerly Brown Council), John Barbour, Gordon Bennett, Daniel Boyd, Pat Brassington, Bob Burruwal, A.D.S Donaldson, Mikala Dwyer, Dale Frank, Marco Fusinato, Matthys Gerber, Kevin Gilbert, Julia Gorman, Fiona Hall, Robert Hunter, Robert MacPherson, Sanné Mestrom, Frank Malkorda, Linda Marrinon, Elizabeth Mipilanggurr, Callum Morton, Barayuwa Munungur, John Nixon, Kerrie Poliness, Stuart Ringholt, Joan Ross, Super Critical Mass, Gareth Sansom, Sally Smart, Ricky Swallow, Kathy Temin, Imants Tillers, Tjanpi D
This companion piece to the Art Gallery of NSW's concurrent exhibition Sentient Lands features works by contemporary Aboriginal artists around the theme of the right to land. Our Lands features work by Gordon Bennett, Daniel Boyd, Robert Campbell Jr, Brenda L Croft, Destiny Deacon, Kevin Gilbert, Julie Gough, Gordon Hookey, Djambawa Marawili, Bobby West Tjupurrula, Ben Galmidle Ward and Judy Watson.
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January is our favourite month of the year thanks to Sydney Festival. The three-week celebration of summer in the city includes 150 events across theatre, dance, circus, music and arts. This year is festival director Wesley Enoch’s first program and he’s brought with him a renewed focus on new Australian work, a deepening of our connections to country and languages, and lots of accessible public art. In fact, there are 73 free events on the program. Enoch is stretching the reach from the CBD to Parramatta, where there’ll be circus shows rotating in the big top at Prince Alfred Square. Plus, there are 16 world premiere performances and 14 Australian exclusives.