In Sydney, the month of March is associated with two things: the end of summer and Art Month. It’s no wonder the two happen in the same month. Nothing like a bit of art to help lift the depressing mood!
Art Month is a city-wide festival celebrating local contemporary art and artists through a range of exhibitions, workshops, tours, art nights and talks. What I like about Art Month most is that it flings the doors of the art world wide open and invites everyone along for the ride, art lovers and non-art lovers alike.
Here were a few of my highlights…
5. Dale Frank @Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery
Frank’s extensive body of work blew us away. He’s known for his biomorphic abstract paintings but in this collection he focused on liquid glass, resin, crystal, glitter, oh and CLOWN MASKS. Seeing Frank’s work in the flesh felt other worldly.
Kitty cats, clowns, jellyfish. What more can you ask for?!
Exhibition runs until 25 March, 2017 @ Roslyn Oxley9
4. Light & sound installation by HP x Vice @National Art School
The computer guys teamed up with the youth media guys to create an immersive light and sound installation you could conveniently control using one of HP’s tablet devices. I felt like I was at a space disco.
3. Chili Philly aka. The food crochet guy @The Australian Design Centre
You may have seen his incredibly delectable crochet hats, or might even be one of his ever-growing 141k followers on Instagram. Originally from Western Australia, 24 year-old Phil Ferguson, or Chiliphilly as he is now known as, combined his love for cult cartoon show Adventure Time and costume-making to create these unique pieces which each take one to two full days to create.
If you’re in Sydney, check out his first solo exhibition: 2 Feb to 29 March, 2017 @The Australian Design Centre
2. Groove Therapy
The Art at Night series of events gives you a chance to take a self-guided tour within a particular art precinct, with galleries and creative spaces opening their doors until late into the night (and by late I mean eight o-clock which is late by Sydney standards). As part of the East Sydney event, one of the stops was at a block of apartments which were part of City of Sydney’s creative live/work residency program offering creative people the opportunity to take up a 12-month affordable apartment lease on William Street. After visiting a few of the artist’s studio apartments, I ended up in Vanessa Marian’s disco-ball lit bedroom with old school RnB video clips projected on the wall being taught how to do a body roll and two-step. Marian is founder of Groove Therapy 101, a dance studio offering classes for people who’ve always wanted to try dance classes but have been too intimidated to do it. In a Groove Therapy class there are no big, confronting studio mirrors or forced performances in front of others, just lots of laughs and fun times with your pals.
Groove Therapy run classes in Sydney and Melbourne. Check it out here.
1. Collectors Space @Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery
As someone who loves collecting art wherever I go, I was really excited to see what kind of art artists themselves like to collect. There were four artists showcasing their art collections, from Archibald-winning contemporary Aussie artist Del Kathryn Barton to rising star and ceramist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran.
Speaking to curator, Max Germanos of 3:33 Art Projects, the exhibition tries to capture the diversity of each artist’s collections. Germanos intentionally chose pieces which were personally purchased by the artist rather than exchanged between artists (a common thing that happens in the art world), to retain a clear sense of the artist as a pure collector. He also wanted to make sure the artist’s own work was shown alongside their collection to offer viewers a glimpse of the art and artists which have influenced their own practice and work in some way.
I’m already excited about Art Month 2018!
x Grandma AL