If you’re looking to individualise your interiors and invest in some original artwork, a visit to Sydney Contemporary should be the first stop on your September art itinerary. The fourth edition of this now-annual art fair will see 70 leading Australian and international galleries take over the exhibition spaces at Carriageworks to showcase the best visual art, current trends, and emerging practices and artists.
It’s five days of art overload with gallery-style booths from international heavyweights such as Pace Gallery (it has outposts in New York, London and Beijing); leading local galleries like such as Roslyn Oxley9 and Sarah Cottier; and a handful of galleries that should be on your to- watch list.
Don’t miss Emily Parsons-Lord’s pyrotechnic performance, curated as a part of Performance Contemporary by Performance Space. There is also; a reimagined version of Patricia Piccinini’s genetically modified flower installation The Field. And at Art Friday during extended opening hours there will be music from Sidehustle DJs, and drinks will be followed by a performance after party at Redfern’ s The Bearded Tit.
Part of the program is three giant art installations by top, internationally recognised artists Callum Morton, Mel O’Callaghan and Cameron Robbins. The pieces were created in collaboration with Barangaroo Delivery Authority and are dotted around the waterside precinct. The work by Montreal-born Morton is particularly fun. He has created a cartoonish sculpture of US president Donald Trump’s head emerging out of the pavement at Barangaroo. The interior of his skull is licked in flames and has seats for you to rest on.
Sydney Contemporary is at Carriageworks from September 13 to 16. The public artworks at Barangaroo are showing until September 24. sydneycontemporary.com.au.
Hidden – A Rookwood Sculpture Walk
This unconventional sculpture walk – returning for its 10th- anniversary edition – invites you to explore the gardens and graves in the oldest section of Rookwood Cemetery. Located in Lidcombe, in Sydney’s west, it is the oldest, largest and most multicultural cemetery in Australia; with more than 130 culturally specific and non-denominational lawns.
Along the way you’ll encounter 40 site-specific artworks by Australian and New Zealand artists that have been created to reflect this year’s theme of history, culture, remembrance and love.
Open from sunrise until sunset every day, entry to the sculpture walk is free and each weekend the site will be brought to life with a range of public programs such as photography workshop Instameets hosted by Australian photographers Declan Blackall, Matt Barry and Matt Horspool. There’s a performance work (The Morning Sweeper by Ulvi Haagensen), cemetery tours and more.
Best viewed at dusk is the large-scale, interactive, glow- in- the- dark sculpture made of up 36 stems that will change colour as daylight fades. Additionally, a series of short films from the inaugural Flickering Stone program – which involves video and moving-image art – will be screened throughout the month.
Hidden – a Rookwood Sculpture Walk is on at Rookwood Cemetery from September 1 to October 1. hiddeninrookwood.com.au.
Supernatural: Visions of the Future
White Rabbit Gallery’s newest offering comes after its previous exhibition, The Sleeper Awakens, was extended due to popular demand.
Ancient Chinese artisans once created surreal depictions of the supernatural beings they believed dwelled in the landscape. Today this natural world is being rapidly demolished in the name of progress, and the contemporary Chinese artists exhibited in Supernatural: Visions of the Future draw on the artistic traditions of old to represent a new reality.
Landscape paintings are reimagined as three-dimensional sculptures knitted from steel wire. Traditional ink paintings depict encroaching urbanisation. And black and white paintings are brought to life using CGI and 3D animation.
See the uncanny works of these 32 artists and engage with the changing landscapes and attitudes that underpin contemporary China.
Supernatural: Visions of the Future is at White Rabbit Gallery from September 7 2018 –until 3 February 3, 2019. whiterabbitcollection.org.
Woolloomooloo Inner- east gallery circuit
Three of Sydney’s most thought-provoking galleries will host new exhibitions from the first week of September, so why not turn your Saturday afternoon into a walking gallery tour?
Start at Elizabeth Bay’s Alaska Projects, an innovative car- park gallery where you will find ruminations on impending motherhood in the form of large embroidered canvases and a ceramics installation by Sydney-based artist Harriet Body.
From here head down William Street towards the city to Artist Run Initiative Firstdraft, which is hosting four new shows until the end of the month. It’s the oldest artist-run collective in the country and will feature experimental sculpture and installation works from artists Lisa Sammut, Audrey Newton and Amy Jane Parker, and a live performance of musical scores by artist and sound collective Score Club.
Ten minutes walk away, and in a converted warehouse with views of the harbor, is Artspace. The final iteration of its three-part exhibition The Public Body is currently showing. Presented annually since 2016, this intriguing exploration of the human body in all its physical and gendered forms will conclude with speculations on its future in the digital age. Among the 20 Australian and international artists on show are Patricia Piccinini (known for her lifelike hybrid creatures), contemporary dancer and choreographer Angela Goh and US visual artist Jacolby Satterwhite. Then head to the Botanic Gardens for sunset.
Harriet Body’s exhibition In Order Of Time is at Alaska Projects Car Park until September 15. . home.alaskaprojects.com.
All Firstdraft exhibitions show from September 5 to 28. firstdraft.org.au.
The Public Body .03 is on at Artspace until October 28.