There’s a long-standing connection between food and art. Artists who pay for meals with their works; exhibition openings that combine wine, canapés and art, the obligatory celebration of selling a work by going out to dine. And of course, standing around appreciating art always generates hunger. Here are some places you can see art with snacks conveniently close by.
Museum of Contemporary Art
With a champagne in hand and bouillabaisse on your table,as you look out from the balcony of Graze MCA, it’s easy to think you are in the most beautiful place in the world. If you want to experience joy from a different uninterrupted view of the Harbour, you can always go to the MCA Cafe on level four. After you eat, head indoors to feast again on curated contemporary art. Current exhibitions include Sydney painter Matthys Gerber, who delights in repurposing the Rorschach in colour, style and intent; Primavera, the annual exhibition of young Australian artists; and the MCA collection.
140 George Street, The Rocks
The ArtHouse Hotel
Built in 1836 as a Mechanics’ School of Arts, the ArtHouse Hotel has history on its side. Go there to learn to draw, eat, look at or buy art. There are two eateries. The ground floor Verge Bar offers lunch and dinner including dishes such as chermoula-crusted chicken salad, beef bourguignon pies or grilled dukkha-crusted tuna. Upstairs is the Graffiti Ristorante, where pasta, pizza and prawns are on the menu. Powerful, colourful works by Vance Reaburn and a burlesque exhibition by Leah Harris are currently on show.
275 Pitt Street, Sydney
(02) 9284 1200
In addition to its extensive collection, The Greats is on show until February 14, 2016. Botticelli meets Mozart, who introduces him to Rembrandt. Friends including Gauguin, John Singer Sargent and others wait to meet you.
Chiswick At The Gallery is open for lunch seven days a week. Choices include seared tuna with chilli, shallot and sesame; chargrilled pork cutlets with kipfler potatoes, pear, Dijon mustard and hazelnuts; or the slow-roasted Moran family lamb. The menu is modest, honest and natural. Wander the on-site kitchen garden while you meditate on the beauty of art and food.
Headland Park Artist Precinct
This once-military post now houses approximately 20 artists. Sculptors, potters, painters, photographers and other artisans work on-site, producing pieces that can be purchased direct from the makers. It also has open days and exhibitions throughout the year.
After exploring the artworks, head to Frenchy’s Cafe and choose from a range of French and Australian cuisine including tartiflette, pork rillettes, poached eggs, or a goat’s-cheese salad.
1100a Middle Head Road, Mosman
White Rabbit Gallery
The White Rabbit Gallery Collection, owned by Judith Neilson, is dedicated to 21st-century Chinese contemporary art. Paradi$e Bitch is the title of the current summer exhibition, which runs until January 31, 2016. Surprising and different, it does what all great art should: make you think a bit harder. A laser light installation creates a fantasy space where darkness and light intersect. Artist Chen Tianzhuo’s gold dwarves twerk and give voice to the artist’s celebration of bad taste and provocation.
Enjoy soothing tea blends such as the Heavenly Fragrance, Iron Goddess of Mercy or Milk Oolong at the White Rabbit Teahouse on the ground floor. Combine the tea with handmade dumplings, a trio of dips, a snack plate. Or stop in for wine and beer.
Housed in the old rail yards at Eveleigh, Carriageworks has been bringing contemporary art, live performances and installations to audiences since 2007. The various spaces showcase the beauty of the site, where bricks and metal work have been retained to respect the site’s industrial past. Every Saturday, from 8am until 1pm, the farmers’ market is open. Here the community can meet producers and learn about what it is buying. Decide between stalls serving bacon and egg rolls, soups, cakes, coffee, baguettes, fresh juices or seasonal fruit.
245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
(02) 8571 9099