Best Exhibitions To See This July


If you’re not running around with your top-off in Europe, chances are you’re still here in Sydney and looking for something to do.

Thankfully, a bunch of new art exhibitions and openings are on the horizon and eagerly awaiting your attendance. From East Sydney to Zetland, we’ve got you covered for at least the next few Thursday and Saturday afternoon/evenings ahead—complimentary booze accounted for. Screw Euro summer and hello Sydney winter! I’m not even crying! I’m having so much fun!!

Jedda-Daisy Culley Download Hats, Jerico Contemporary

First cab off the rank is the ever-talented Jedda-Daisy Culley with her new exhibition Download Hats. Bringing together a special collection of paintings that further explore the recurring symbol of the cowboy as a master of disguise, Download Hats is a dramatic expression of psychoactive portraiture. Looking at the metaphysical nature of the almighty mother as a monster-like ghost, Culley pushes her figures to new places, where they explode and overflow outside of their physical form. Prepare to be charmed and disarmed by the artist and her weapons at the exhibition opening tonight, this Friday 1 July, from 6-8pm at Jerico Contemporary.

Jedda-Daisy Culley

Jess Johnson Killyjoy & Bez, Darren Knight

Opening on Saturday 2 July at Darren Knight is a new body of work by Jess Johnson, Killyjoy & Bez. The collection of small-scale psychedelic drawings are actually studies for future 3D sculptures Johnson is working on, inspired by Anunnaki, the giant anthropomorphic deities of Mesopotamia. Get weird and see what it’s all about this weekend.

Jess Johnson

Visaya Hoffie The Enchanting Microplastics, Firstdraft

After making waves in Brisbane, Visaya Hoffie will present her first solo show in Sydney, The Enchanting Microplastics. The exhibition draws parallels between the insidious nature of microplastics and everyday popular culture. Placing a focus on ceramic sculpture and painting, Hoffie brings together a series of characters born from a ‘hot mess of data’ that reference popular culture, fashion, television and the classic French fable, The Little Prince. Drop into Firstdraft on Wednesday 6 July to enter the world of the artist, who generously opens the door to her imagination and beckons us in.

Visaya Hoffie 

Phil James Pleasure Island, Chalk Horse

Keeping the vibrancy high is Phil James Pleasure Island. Marking a change in direction on the artist’s working map, James depicts a series of cartoon characters appropriated from our screens and blended with his imagination. Whether informed by the bucked teeth of Bugs Bunny or the opening titles of your favourite Looney Tunes show, the paintings are a dizzying compilation of rounded noses, bug eyes and nippled forms, where the crude and cute collide in the most fixating way. Get down to Chalk Horse for the opening on Thursday 7 July.

Phil James

Gregory Hodge Figures, Lights, and Landscapes, Sullivan+Strumpf

Nobody paints like Gregory Hodge. If you don’t believe me, you should pencil in the opening of his new exhibition Figures, Lights, and Landscapes at Sullivan+Strumpf to go and see for yourself. After spending the last couple of years in Paris surrounded by superlative art collections, Hodge has returned home to share an incredible body of new work informed by his time spent observing tapestries and textiles. Having mastered a unique way of looking, the artist reinterprets layers of references that mediate the past and present, interior and exterior spaces, figurative and abstract. Be enveloped by the beauty on Saturday 30 July from 3-5pm, which also marks the opening of Julia Gutman’s first ever solo show, Muses—neither are to be missed.

Gregory Hodge

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