In the challenging year that is 2020, ‘Sydney Contemporary’ Australasia’s international art fair is taking more than 450 new artworks by over 380 leading Australian and international artists into the digital realms for a month-long exhibition of art for sale. This is an active response to the impact of Covid-19 on the arts, and is a way to provide support to artists and galleries through these difficult times. ‘Sydney Contemporary’ will be returning to Carriageworks in 2021.
The online platform will be open to viewers from 1 to 31 October with a digitised format inviting art lovers and collectors to navigate their way through an energetic display of works, explore and purchase new work by their favourite artists and discover new artists. A diverse range of artistic practices including painting, drawing, photography, video, mixed-media, virtual reality and sculpture will be showcased with many works made in lockdown by artists who had restricted studio time and limited access to materials.
“Our custom-made platform creates a place for seasoned collectors and emerging art lovers alike to explore and buy new work by exciting contemporary artists. We encourage people to support the visual arts community in the most direct way possible – by purchasing the work of artists. It is a chance to acquire not just an artwork but a memory, something to look upon that was created during this unforgettable year,” notes Barry Keldoulis, Fair Director of Sydney Contemporary.
With a brief mention of just a few exhibiting artists in the Sydney Contemporary showcase. Kate Just presents Anonymous Was a Woman as part of an ongoing project inspired by a quote in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own (1928), which involves the repetitive process of making 16 x 16inch hand-knitted panels. Australian Muslim artist Abdul Abdullah examines the complex feelings of displacement and alienation associated with histories of diaspora and migration. For this show Abdullah shows his concern for the recent bushfire crisis. South Sudanese artist and writer Atong Atem exhibits a new portrait of St Kilda-based musician Claudette Justice-Allen, as part of a series of portraits of the women in her life. Penny Byrne addresses community fear in relation to Covid-19 with a telling bronze sculpture titled Love in a Time of Corona (2020).
Los Angeles-based Australian artist Anna Carey creates fictive architectural models and turns them into photographic and video works. Indigenous multi-disciplinary artist Dean Cross’ practice challenges colonial narratives of Australia and the Pacific through the lens of national, archival and personal histories. Blak Douglas is an Indigenous artist whose unique painterly visions tell culturally and politically charged stories with a sense of irony and hint of sarcasm. Lindy Lee creates meditative works that reflect on her Chinese ancestry through the practice of Taoism and Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism philosophies that view humanity and nature as inextricably linked. Noel McKenna works with oil, enamel, watercolour, lithography, etching, ceramics and metal to visualise his thoughts about the human condition with his illustrations of the everyday.
Korean-born New Zealand-based Seung Yul Oh creates whimsical art works informed by East Asian popular culture with ironic references to high Western art history. Ben Quilty’s paintings seek to draw attention to our responsibility as human beings in an increasingly fraught world. Ronnie van Hout’s curious characters draw on the shifting nature and anxiety of identity in the 21st century. Other artists in the mix include Hany Armanious, Brook Andrew, Kate Ballis, Clare Belfrage, Juan Davila, Robert Feilding, Fiona Hall, Juz Kitson, Tim McMonagle, Tracey Moffatt, Nell, Tom Polo, Lisa Reihana, Sally Smart, Jasmine Togo-Brisby, Guan Wei, and hundreds more.
Enter ‘Sydney Contemporary’s’ digital exhibition platform here. Enjoy!