Museum of the Moon
Artist Luke Jerram’s seven-metre-wide moon has circled the globe. It’s been suspended beneath the soaring ceiling of Leicester Cathedral in England, above a swimming pool at the Beijing National Aquatics Center, and at the entrance to the grand Gateway of India in Mumbai. Now you can gaze up at this internally lit sculpture detailed with 120 dpi (dots per inch) NASA imagery of the lunar surface, engulfed in a surround-sound composition by award-winning composer Dan Jones.
While this annual celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples runs nationally from July 7 to 19, there’s an incredible line-up of art events this month to kick off the celebrations in Sydney. Not to be missed is the National Indigenous Art Fair, a rare chance to immerse yourself in the work of Indigenous Australian artists from 26 remote community-owned art centres in the Northern Territory. From paintings, textiles and sculptures, to weaving circles, ochre painting demonstrations and healing workshops, this two-day ethical market is a celebration of First Nations artists and their rich cultural practices.
Visit Hazelhurst Arts Centre, in Sydney’s south, to glimpse 50 breathtaking tales of country by 16 Indigenous watercolour artists from the Iltja Ntjarra Art Centre in the Northern Territory. Painting in the style of their famed grandfather Albert Namatjira, their works will take you from Mparntwe (Alice Springs) all the way to the rugged Tjoritja (West MacDonnell Ranges).
Pmarra Nurna-kanhala Untha-lapp-urma: Walking Through Country is on at Hazelhurst Arts Centre from Saturday June 29 to Tuesday July 9.
National Indigenous Art Fair is on at Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks on Saturday June 29 and Sunday June 30.
If you don’t know who Tracey Moffatt is, keep reading. Renowned as one of the country’s most successful contemporary artists, in 2017 she became the first solo Indigenous artist to represent Australia in the Art Biennale (previously called the Venice Biennale). For the first time since, her ochre-hued photographic series Body Remembers (a clever allusion to domestic servitude and the legacy of colonisation) and video work Vigil will be exhibited in Sydney.
Tracey Moffatt: Body Remembers is on at Mosman Art Gallery from Saturday June 15 to Sunday August 25.
The Makers’ Nest Design Market
If you’re in the mood for browsing, head to this biannual Australian makers’ market, where you’ll discover everything from handmade ceramics to beautiful textiles, woven wall hangings and illustrative artworks by names like Chloe Joyce and Eggpicnic. The 50 artisans on show are a mix of emerging and established makers from Sydney and regional New South Wales.
John Fries Award
The finalists for this year’s Copyright Agency John Fries Award are in, with the winners set to be announced in late June. This annual award celebrates early-career visual artists and has been a springboard to success for past alumni. Among the judges’ picks for 2019 are mother-daughter duo Betty Chimney and Raylene Walatinna from the Iwantja Arts Community in Indulkana, South Australia, who work collaboratively on large-scale canvases, and Sydney-based artists Nadia Hernández, Dean Cross, Elena Papanikolakis and Justine Youssef. The 10 finalists work across painting, photography, sculpture, video and installation, reimagining the role of storytelling in visual art.
There is Fiction in the Spaces Between: John Fries Award 2019 is on at UNSW Galleries, Paddington from Friday June 21 to Saturday September 7.
Dedicated to the Dedicated: Whitlam, the Arts and Democracy
Imagine a time when the prime minister not only established an independent arts funding body, but also went out on a limb to personally approve the purchase of the $1.3 million artwork Blue Poles by Jackson Pollock for the National Gallery of Australia. For the first time, the collection of artworks that were gifted to Gough and Margaret Whitlam in recognition of their contribution to the arts will be on display to the public. Expect to see pieces by exemplary Australian artists like John Olsen, Brett Whiteley, Arthur Boyd and Lloyd Rees.
Dedicated to the Dedicated: Whitlam, the Arts and Democracy is on at Western Sydney University, Parramatta Campus, from Friday June 7 to Friday July 26.
World Press Photo Exhibition 2019
Both harrowing and hopeful, this annual global photography prize exhibits 150 of the most powerful examples of photojournalism from the previous year. Seen by more than four million people in over 100 cities each year, this timely exhibition provides an evocative snapshot of the state of our world.
World Press Photo Exhibition 2019 is on at the State Library of New South Wales until Sunday June 23.