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Ten Things to See, Do and Visit at Art Month Sydney 2018

Your arty hit list for the month starts here.
By Kara Jensen-Mackinnon
February 23, 2018
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By Kara Jensen-Mackinnon
February 23, 2018
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in partnership with

Get ready for a hot cultural injection of all things art, performance and conversation, because Art Month Sydney is back for another year from March 1–25. The month-long, city-wide festival curated by Kate Britton has got something for everyone — from divaz and dogs to free shows, films and full-day immersive experiences. So clear your schedule, gather your art pals and flex your conversation muscles at this program packed with incredibly talented local and international artists coming to you by way of galleries, art precincts, studios and artist spaces around the city.

To help you sift through the arty month, we've rounded up the top ten things to put in your diary for the upcoming cultural fete.

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Katthy Cavaliere: nest 1, 2010. Courtesy the Estate of Katthy Cavaliere.

COLLECTORS' SPACE

Have you ever wondered which works your favourite local artists have hanging on their walls, but didn't want to risk going to jail for breaking into their house in the middle of the night? Well before you get your catsuit on, head to Collectors' Space This famed exhibition offers you a glimpse into the personal art collections of MVP artists and curators like Abdul Abdullah, Tony Albert, Tess Allas, Daniel Mudie Cunningham and Emma Price, all without having to take the B&E route. Art Month Artistic Director Kate Britton says of the intimate exhibition, "Collectors' Space looks beyond the accumulation of objects and explores the relationships each collector has with the works in their care and the artists who created them".

MAY SPACE, March 1–17.

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THE OTHER ART FAIR

Fancy living the life of a hotshot art collector but don't really know where to start? Well, thankfully The Other Art Fair has returned for a fourth year to cater to all your art buying needs. Mosey on down to the Australian Technology Park on the last weekend of Art Month, where you'll be able to meet the artists and chat to them about their work and creative processes, then purchase work directly from their sweet little art hands. The fair will feature works by 100 of Australia's best independent and emerging artists, as well as a number of free artist talks and behind-the-scenes tours.

Australian Technology Park, March 23–25.

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Katje Ford.

BLACK DIVAZ AT THE BEARDED TIT

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras and the first year in our history we aren't forced to debate whether or not everyone should be afforded the same right to marry the person they love. So needless to say, the Month of Rainbows is going to be a big one. To celebrate how far we've come as a nation in the past year, The Bearded Tit is holding a show dedicated to the inaugural Miss First Nations Drag Pageant that took place in September 2017 and the making of Black Divaz, the documentary that captured the story of the pageant. The glittering event saw six queens from around the country journey to Darwin to compete for the crown. The intimate Bearded Tit show is a celebration of the personal journeys that each of the contestants undertook to arrive in all their glittering glory on that stage, sharing behind-the-scenes moments and insights into the making of the doco.

The Bearded Tit, January 25 to March 3.

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DNSW.

INNER WEST OPEN STUDIO TRAIL

Slap on some sunscreen and your trendiest duds, and head to the Inner West Open Studio Trail for two full weekends of exploring the secret studios and creative spaces nestled around Newtown, Enmore and Marrickville. For two weekends in March, these artist spaces and studios will swing open their doors and feature group exhibitions, artist talks and a showcase of performance works. Make a day of it by spending a few hours chatting to the local makers and talented creators, taking in art and stopping off at a few breweries and pubs along the way for a couple cheeky bevs.

Various locations in the inner west, March 9–11 and 17–18.

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Kitti Smallbone.

LIFE DRAWING AT THE TOMM BASS PRIZE

It's impossible to soak up all the incredible work on display during Art Month without thinking, "maybe my life would be infinitely improved if I quit my 9–5, invested in a beret and became a full-time artist." But before you commit to kicking your job to the curb, why not sample the artist lifestyle by spending a few hours life drawing at historic Juniper Hall with artist Monika Scarrabelotti. Open to everyone from duds to Da Vincis, spend an evening learning how to draw from life, surrounded by the inspiring works of the 2018 Tom Bass Figurative Prize.

Juniper Hall, March 8 and 15.

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Kimberley Low.

THE YEAR OF THE DOG EXHIBITION

2018 is the year of the pup, and though many would argue every year is the year of the dog, this year it's official. So to celebrate our furry best friends, The Robin Gibson Gallery has curated a family-friendly exhibition dedicated to all things pooch — featuring works by Geoff Harvey, who's well known for his found-object sculptures; ceramics by Karen Choy; sculptures by Richard Byrnes, who brought us the Inner West dog bollards; and pooch-themed paintings by Brett Whiteley, Guy Gilmour, Peter Baka, Ted Hillyer, Zoe Tweedale and many more.

Robin Gibson Gallery, February 17 to March 7.

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Kyle Levett: Bionic Junk Sculpture.

EXPRESS YOURSELF 2018

Anyone who works in marketing knows that unlocking the secrets of what the youth thinks is cool will put you on the fast track to making a billion dollars. So rather than spending your time loitering around Instagram smying (yes, we just made up this word, and yes, it means social media spying) on unsuspecting kids, why not see first hand what the next generation really think about the world by visiting Express Yourself. A collection of work from Northern Beaches HSC students curated by Ross Heathcote and Katrina Savage, the exhibition will feature works by super promising young artists using various media from paper to digital media to film. Make sure to memorise their names, because we'll surely see a lot more of them in years to come.

Manly Art Gallery & Museum, February 23 to April 1.

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Julie Vulcan: Redress #6 hinc illae lacrimae. Photograph by AnA Wojak.

THE OPEN BODY

If you prefer your artwork to be of the performative variety, look no further than The Open Body, an all-day performance event curated by artist Tom Isaacs. Featuring highly emotive works by Kate Brown, Stella Chen, Tom Isaacs, Robbie Karmel, Danica Knezevic, Vivienne Linsley, Alex Talamo, Malvina Tan, Julie Vulcan, Yiorgos Zafiriou and Mariia Zhuchenko, the collection of challenging physical works will explore the body as a theme, addressing the notion of self, visibility, representation and the way we interact with others. The event will take place at Scratch Art Space in Marrickville, which is conveniently located across the road from Batch Brewing Co. for all your post-art show liquid needs.

Scratch Art Space, March 18.

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PARRAMATTA ARTIST STUDIO TOUR

Not all events during Art Month are clustered around the CBD. In its tenth year, this Parramatta artist hub is opening to the public and putting on a big old show complete with live music and artist talks. Having seen many incredible young creators pass through on their way to great successes, this leading production space offers both domestic and international residencies, enabling a whole lot of wildly ambitious projects. Artists in the PAS 2018 program include Khadim Ali, Tom Blake, Jessica Bradford, Rosie Deacon, Chris Dolman, Emma Fielden, Rebecca Gallo, Caroline Garcia, Anthony Macris, Emily Parsons-Lord, Lisa Sammut, Shireen Taweel, Garry Trinh and Justine Youssef.

Parramatta Artist Sutdios, March 24.

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Get To Work.

PRESENT EXHIBITION

There are so many incredible local artists it's impossible to keep track, especially when they're not always exhibited in local gallery spaces. The new initiative Present aims to up your artist knowledge ante with a curation of challenging works by a handful of slick contemporary artists who are killing it despite not having gallery representation, including Kalanjay Dhir, Caroline Garcia, Get to Work, Samuel Hodge, Claudia Nicholson and Athena Thebus. According to Art Month Artistic Director Kate Britton, the new show aims to "connect artists working outside the realms of commercial gallery representation with new audiences".

Darren Knight Gallery, March 3–31.

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Art Month Sydney takes place across the city from March 1–25.

Published on February 23, 2018 by Kara Jensen-Mackinnon
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