Despite the rain (so what’s new – this is Sydney), the crowd and the excitement was anything but soggy – Carriageworks is the perfect location – the blend of the industrial with the arts is the ultimate contradiction. Hosted around the space that is John and Peter Canteen with their clever approach to food, combining a who’s who of the Sydney art scene with performance art, this was a fitting gig for the launch of the month long survey of contemporary art in Sydney.
We’ve taken part over the last few years and been educated, inspired and occasionally bored by the talks, exhibitions and events we’ve been to. This year, there are over 200 artists at 100 locations as well as related events – some of the highlights are conversations with John Kaldor on 14 March which is a must for sydneycool as he is our local hero, and David Gonski on 22 March at Customhouse. A new addition to the Art Month lineup is the Precinct Party – one in each major art area in Sydney. We’re off to the Surry Hills Party – Friday 23rd March – do you own art tour of the local Surry Hills galleries ending up the Art Bar at Chalk Horse Gallery – one of our favourite Sydney galleries. You get to see work from leading artists – our picks are Marco Fusinato at Anna Schwartz Gallery, William Kentridge at Annandale Galleries, Hugh Ford at Iain Dawson Gallery and Paul Davis at Tim Olsen Gallery. If you’re new to collecting, you can hear from dealers and artists about what to look for and how to buy – a Bluffers Guide to Contemporary Art starts on 14th March at Michael Reid Gallery. New this year, is the ipad App which has a full guide to what’s on.
At sydneycool, we’re always keen to hear from the artists, what inspires them and how they work. So last night, we went to hear a coversation with Mike Parr, who has an exhibition ‘Brain Coral’ at the National Art School. Mike Parr’s practice is varied and has a long tradition in conceptual art – drawing, performance art, painting. An enlightening discussion where we talked about his work and his ideas on the state of contemporary art, critics, political issues and artists. So how does he see art and the role of the artist? – ‘you’re not here to placate – work should exhibit unease and discomforture’.
This is a chance to get to see, hear and experience Sydney and global contemporary art – it runs until 25 March. Get out and check out some of the Art Month Sydney events – you won’t be disappointed about what Sydney arts has to offer.