March is Art Month in Sydney. With more exhibitions and events than you can poke a stick at, it can be hard to decide on a shortlist. So on the eve of Art Month Sydney 2017, Art Guide’s Naomi Gall offers her top 6 choices, because, as she puts it, “anyone can choose 5!” Here are Naomi’s Art Month highlights in sequential order:
1. Cocktails and Crochet Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments of my Mother’s life is that I never followed in her crafty footsteps and learned how to crochet. Trust me, I tried, but it seems it is not a skill with which I am blessed. Drinking cocktails however is something I’m very good at. So what could be better than listening to artists Kirsten Fredricks and Phil Ferguson (Chili Philly) share ‘crochet 101’ skills and talk about their inspiration and crochet adventures while sipping cocktails by Archie Rose Distilling Co. Who knows, perhaps the alcohol will turn me into a crochet fiend and I’ll create something even my Mother will be proud of.
2. Art that Moves With a line-up promising music, comedy, improvisation, muscle stimulation, bio-symphony and puppetry, I’m incredibly intrigued by Art that Moves at Workshop Arts Centre. With such a diverse line-up there’s guaranteed to be something that I will love, and more than likely something that I will hate, and some things I’ll no doubt forget about a few hours later. A marquee will be set up on the lawn selling food and drink. (what is it with me combining meals with art?) So if you’re after a unique event, this sounds like your golden ticket.
3. Art at Night – East Sydney There’s something about heading to galleries after hours that always feels a little rebellious. Like being back stage at a concert, it’s a sneak peek for a chosen few. There are several Art at Night self-guided tours on offer, but my pick is East Sydney, Some of my favourite spaces are on this trail: Artspace, Chalk Horse, Firstdraft and Alaska Projects. Of course, there will be food, and the Cake Wines Art Bar at the National Art School kicks the night off. Exhibition programs have been specifically designed for Art Month. When the sun goes down, the art comes out! So hold on to your hats hipsters, who knows what you’ll come across on the trail.
4. High Tea and Talk Another example of that winning combo: food and art. While enjoying a high tea from the Incinerator Café you have the pleasure of listening to Anna Shepherd, CEO of Regal Home Health, as she presents her ideas on the topic “Age Doesn’t define me”. I would also be interested to hear more about The Domestic Goddessgroup exhibition, which presents glass and ceramic works, giving voice to the (often female) role of the homemaker. These intricate works reflect domestic ritual and the commercial influences which shape this often overlooked area. As the daughter of a stay-at-home Mother and a feminist, I eagerly anticipate being inspired.
5. The Unknown Dancer in the Neighbourhood Presented by The Japan Foundation, The Unknown Dancer in the Neighbourhoodis a contemporary drama about anonymity in a Japanese suburb. I’m fascinated to see how a single performer will manage to embody all the inhabitants of their local area. I look around my neighbourhood everyday without ever really seeing it. We exist in a disengaged society in which indifference is the norm. I’m secretly hoping this contemporary drama/dance performance will open my eyes and maybe I’ll see my world, and the people in it, a little bit clearer. Or it may make me scared to leave the house. We will have to wait and see.
6. Under the sun: Re-imagining Max Dupain’s Sunbaker The Australian Centre for Photography, in partnership with the State Library of New South Wales, have invited 15 artists to create new work in response to Max Dupain’s iconic Sunbaker. Having always been a fan of Dupain’s work, my interest in this exhibition was especially piqued when I saw who was involved. The work of Destiny Deacon, Julie Rrap, Khaled Sabsabi, Kawita Vatanajyankur and Justene Williams has always fascinated me, so I’m keen to see what they can dream up. (Read Steve Dow’s interview with Julie Rrap here.)