Best Exhibitions to See in Sydney This April

Somehow, April is here, but so are a bevvy of new art exhibitions.

How we’re already into the fourth month of the year, I’m not sure. What I am sure of, though, is that the arts are thriving, exhibitions are aplenty and if you ever feel compelled to dance indoors while viewing them—you can. There’s really no excuses now, so go make the most of it and check out these six must-see exhibitions.

Group Show, Friends, Ninety Three Bourke

It’s not every day that a new artist-run initiative opens up in Sydney, but here we are! Ninety Three Bourke is the latest ARI on the block, operating as both a gallery and studio space for five local artists: Eliza Gosse, Kris Andrew Small, David Porte Bekefeld, YUNG LILS and Joel Adler. Their current exhibition, Friends, brings together the work of the five studio artists as well as seven guest artists: Micke Lindebergh, Nadia Hernández, Jessica Ticchio, Elliot Ulm, Christopher Zanko, Benjamin Jay Shand and Tim Grove. With call-outs for exhibition proposals now open, their upcoming program is set to profile emerging and mid-career curators and artists alike. We love it. Friends is on show until Monday, 12th April and you can find out more via their Instagram @ninetythreebourke.

Tom Polo, linger, 2021, Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Tom Polo, linger, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

Extending on his practice that explores painting as psychological spaces, Tom Polo is bringing new body of work, linger, to Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. Looking at how conversation, doubt and gesture are acts of portraiture, Polo’s latest work exists on the threshold of presence and absence, considering what is painted in and what is painted out. Created in his proverbial naïve, abstract style, looming characters appear submerged in swirling layers of paint, simultaneously revealed and concealed in a melting pot of colour. The exhibition opens on Friday, 9th April from 6 pm and will continue through to Saturday, 8th May.

Hayley Millar Baker, ‘(I’m the Captain Now),’ inkjet print on paper, 20 x 20 cm, 2016

Hayley Millar Baker, There we were all in one place, UTS Gallery

If you’re not already familiar with the powerful work of Hayley Millar Baker, acquaint yourself at her first Sydney solo exhibition, There we were all in one place, at UTS Gallery. Bringing together 35 of Millar Baker’s striking photographic assemblages, the exhibit spans five different series produced between 2016 and 2019. The non-linear storytelling re-authors history and experiences of memory, time and place across generations. Informed by her Gunditjmara and cross-cultural heritage, Millar Baker’s work is grounded in research and historical archives, integrating photographs taken by her grandfather with her own, creating seamless yet surreal black and white scenes. Symbolic references and encrypted messages simmer beneath the surface of unsettling suburban neighbourhoods and rocky, gothic outcrops, meticulously connecting the past to the present. There we were all in one place opens on Tuesday, 13th April and runs until Monday, 14th June 2021.

Ondine Seabrook, Private Guests Only

Ondine Seabrook, Private Guests Only, China Heights

Ondine Seabrook’s latest exhibition, Private Guests Only, opens at China Heights this month and you’re invited (yes, you). Presenting a series of paintings navigating two polar landscapes: the harsh, robust desert in Broken Hill and the luminous oceanic paradise of Lord Howe Island, Seabrook reflects on her separate journeys to these places with her artist friends. Conveying nostalgia through thoughtful use of colour and gesture—the desert works painted plein air on-site and the island works recalled in her studio—their duality sticks for everything but their remoteness. Private Guests Only opens on Friday, 23rd April at 6 pm and runs until Sunday, 15th May 2021.

Nadia Hernandez, Pesadilla #1 Oil on linen, 2021 102 x 84 cm

Nadia Hernández, Con la punta de los dedos (With the tips of your fingers), Station Gallery, Sydney

Nadia Hernández is opening her first solo show with Station Gallery, Con la punta de los dedos (With the tips of your fingers) on Saturday 24th April at 4 pm. Titled in reference to a recipe passed down by her mother, this new body of work extends on the Sydney-based artist’s intuitive practice that negotiates the space—or lack thereof—between her intimate family memories and ruminations on the chaotic political climate in her home country of Venezuela. Through her vibrant and dynamic compositions, Hernández offers energetic constructions where trauma, loss and remembering coalesce. The exhibition will continue through to Saturday 22nd May 2021.

The National 2021: New Australian Art

Sydney’s major biannual survey of new contemporary Australian art is back for 2021. The National takes place across three venues: Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA), where the works of 39 artists across the country from different cultural backgrounds are showcased between now and September. Responding to the times in which we live, The National promises to be ‘provocative, political and poetic’, so you know it’s going to be good. Head to to find out who’s showing where and when. My advice? See it all.

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