Sydney is generally great over the big holidays – everyone heads off somewhere and those left behind can reclaim their city. Life generally continues but at a less frantic pace and, bliss, there is usually less traffic and more parking spots. Except of course at Easter time at the Show but I am not advocating you spend your well earned break and dollars there. Although the cake decorating competition is always fascinating……
So here is a bit of a list of what is still open and on over Easter.
The AGNSW will be pumping with both ArtExpress and the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize exhibitions. It’s good to be opinionated so join the crowd, check out these three increasingly controversial exhibitions and form your own opinion. ArtExpress upstairs is always a real eye-opener into the sophisticated thinking of teenagers. Closed Good Friday. www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au
Then really, to get the full picture of the Archibald (portrait) and Wynne (landscape/ sculpture) Prizes, you should head over to the SH Ervin Gallery on Observatory Hill to take in the Salon des Refuses, the exhibition of the selection of those works not selected by the AGNSW Trustees. www.nationaltrust.com.au/placestovisit/sheg/exhibitions/salon/ A nice stroll up the hill from the MCA…..which should also be on your list.
Just reopened, revamped and refurbished (also renamed) the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. www.mca.com.au Take time with the opening exhibition Marking time. The minute detail of Christian Marclay’s The Clock, a 24hour video in ‘real’ time, is riveting. I’m not completely convinced, but with its obvious exhaustive research into films, it must be worthy of an Oscar.
Another gallery which has just completed extensive renovation is Tim Olsen Gallery in Woollahra, having taken over the building next door. It is comforting to see a commercial gallery expand so ambitiously these days. The combined spaces feel great and are well worth a visit. New paintings by Martine Emdur and photography by Tamara Dean. www.timolsengallery.com
Mike Parr’sBrain Coral at the National Art School Gallery is sensational. Vigorous,intense, physical prints made in collaboration with master printmaker John Loane in Canberra. These works are ambitious in so many ways. Drawn with a range of tools onto copper then via various techniques transformed into prints on paper, this body of work sums up so much of Parr’s lengthy career: performance as an intense examination of the self, physically and emotionally, externally and internally. It’s great. www.nas.edu.au/experience/NASGallery Parr shows with Anna Schwartz Gallery in Sydney at Carriageworks. www.annaschwartzgallery.com
Enjoy wandering through a quiet CBD and venture into the Commercial Travellers Association Hotel in the MLC Centre to see Thomas Demand’s The Dailies, the latest of the Kaldor Public Art Projects. The Kaldor projects are always fabulous in the way each artist engages with the designated public space.
But for me this Easter, I am taking a break from art hunting and intend to just eat, read, swim and dream of paradise, and probably in that order. Then I’ll be refreshed, ready to start again soon.