Rae Begley - The Keeper of the Land 1, 2020, Archival Photographic Print

Best Art Shows in Sydney This Month


So, it appears Sydney’s flooding now.

And what do you do when monsoonal weather hits and hits hard? You batten down the hatches and stay indoors. Eventually, though, you’re going to get cabin fever, and when you do, you should make a beeline for these five jaw-dropping art shows. Whether they’re coming or going, for one night only or settling in for the next few months, they’re all worth getting off your couch for.

Abdul Abdullah, ‘Needless Anxieties’

HOME Bushfire Relief Art Auction

Of all the shows in this list, this is the one you cannot miss. It’s huge, it’s for one night only, and it features more than 60 of Australia’s leading contemporary artists. HOME is a bushfire fundraiser, art exhibition and silent auction, with 100% of the profits earned on the night going to WWF Australia, Climate Council and Firesticks Alliance. Included in the show are works from Ben Quilty, Abdul Abdullah, Stanislava Pinchuk, Nadia Hernandez, Jonny Niesche, Janet Laurence, Del Kathryn Barton, Mike Parr and heaps more, and you can bid on the silent auction here or sign up for the live auction here. As well as an incredible collection of art for a good cause, there will be food, drinks, and DJ sets from the likes of Client Liaison, Tyson Koh, and Marcus King. HOME is free to attend, you just need to register here for a ticket.

Wednesday 12 February 2020, 7-10 pm. National Art School, Corner Forbes & Burton Street, Darlinghurst

Jessica Nagy, ‘The fisherman’s daughter.’ Photo: Robert Edwards

Art Express

Art Express is both a painful yearly reminder of my own middling HSC Body of Work that now gathers rot in my family’s shed, and a refreshing look at what the next generation of Australian art has in store. If you’ve never been to Art Express before, make this year your first. The exhibition pulls together the cream of the crop from high schools across NSW, with a diverse mix of mediums including printmaking, sculpture, drawing, watercolours, and the tears of Year 12 students.

Opens Thursday the 6th February and runs until Sunday the 26th April. Upper Asian Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Cornelia Parker 

It’s your last week to catch Cornelia Parker at the MCA. The English visual artist’s first major survey exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere has been a huge addition the MCA’s summer lineup, but it’s time to say adios to her 40-odd works. Parker is known for her transformation of everyday objects into unexpected, large scale scenarios—exploding and shooting things into oblivion, then collecting them to create new structures. One of the focal pieces in the show, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991), recreates the moment when she got the British Army to blow up her garden shed and that, ladies and gentlemen, sounds like an artistic practice to aspire to.

Runs until Sunday the 16th of February. MCA, 140 George Street, The Rocks. 

Luke Chiswell

Thought It Was But It Wasn’t

Jerico Contemporary is presenting their second solo show with Australian artist Luke Chiswell. In his new show, Thought It Was But It Wasn’t, Chiswell uses collected objects from around his new hometown of Topanga and Downtown LA as a base for collage. Through the process of aluminium sand casting, he creates an abstract vocabulary that makes for pretty impressive viewing when up close and personal.

Opens Thursday 13th February and will continue through to Saturday 29th February. Jerico Contemporary, 94 Cathedral St, Woolloomooloo.

Daniel Boyd, Carriageworks

Daniel Boyd: VIDEO WORKS

Daniel Boyd is a Kudjala/Gangalu artist who works across painting, video and installation. His installation at Carriageworks, VIDEO WORKS, is a site-specific reconfiguration of three major video installations, created over a period of six years. Boy’s signature circular lens is used to fragment and disrupt Eurocentric perspectives of history, revealing that knowledge is both lost and found through information shared and obstructed. This one’s approaching its final days as well, so make sure you catch it before it’s too late.

Showing until the 1st of March. Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh.

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