Take a deep dive into the world of Western Sydney artist Heath Franco as a part of his newly commissioned immersive installation, Valley. This psychotropic trip comes with soundscapes, old video sets protruding from the gallery floors and walls, and underlying ruminations on our chaotic existence – fitting for this cutting-edge gallery’s first solo exhibition since opening last year.
Valley is on at Cement Fondu until September 29. More info here.
Dine at a local Ethiopian restaurant while Blacktown community leader Assefa Bekele shares stories of his childhood in Africa. Go to a pop-up hip-hop and breakdance performance in the laneways of Mount Druitt. Grab a picnic blanket and settle in for an afternoon of short films by five local filmmakers at the Blacktown Showground. Not to be missed, Magnify – a new seven-week cultural festival – promises to take you outside the gallery and into the Blacktown community.
Magnify is on at several sites across Blacktown until September 15. More info here.
Sydney Science Festival
There are more than 160 events at this huge fest. You’ll be able to strap yourself into an electric chair, step inside a space shuttle, witness the mystery and fragile beauty of the polar north, and get a glimpse into the future of scientific and artistic collaboration. The exhibitions that accompany this year’s festival cleverly address our technological and environmental currencies, and the fun line-up of workshops offers participants the chance to make a zine, experiment with watercolour illustration, or create digital characters with photo-editing techniques.
The Sydney Science Festival is on across Sydney until August 18. More info here.
Here We Are
Released in 2016, The Countess Report – an investigation into gender representation in Australian visual arts – found that women make up 75 per cent of art-school graduates but only 34 per cent of artists exhibited in our state museums and galleries. That’s reason enough to head to the Art Gallery of NSW to support this timely exhibition of the gallery’s latest acquisitions by leading female artists working today, including the Nigerian-born, LA-based Njideka Akunyili Crosby, the always-confessional Tracey Emin, and Sydney’s Justene Williams.
Here We Are is on at the Art Gallery of NSW from August 24 to October 13. More info here.
With over 40 artists spread across two and a half acres, this annual sculpture exhibition transforms Eden Gardens with thoughtful installations that reflect on our current environmental crisis. Encounter native flowers made from plastic waste, wander through a vibrant crochet garden, and write your own message in a bottle and secure it to a wire tree. Families shouldn’t miss the special children’s art trail, and the kid’s sculpture and mosaic workshops happening in August.
In Fiji in the 19th century, British colonisers banned veiqia, the traditional practice of female tattooing that marked a girl’s transition to womanhood. The Veiqia Project is a research collective inspired by this tradition, and as a part of its residency at Campelltown Arts Centre, it’s collaborating with 10 female artists from Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand for an entirely artist-led exhibition that celebrates the rejuvenation of iTaukei (Indigenous Fijian) culture.
Marama Dina is on at Campbelltown Arts Centre from August 17 to October 13. More info here.