It’s here, folks! Sydney’s annual Art & About is splashing a helluva lot of colour about town from Friday September 20 until October 20. If you missed out on BRAG’s chat with Creative Director Gill Mervini earlier this week, you’ve got some catching up to do. But fear not, because we’ve got your diary sorted with a lineup of festival picks.
Engulfing Hyde Park North is Field, a mesmerising maze featuring 324 mirror faces created by Out of the Dark, a studio dedicated to creative solutions and treatments of space through design, installation and placemaking run by Auckland architects Angus Muir, Alexandra Heaney and Simon Praag. Each mirror reflects the surrounding landscape and skyline and in doing so challenges punters’ experience of the known environment. The trees, grass and sky will never look the same because the environment’s ephemeral, man. And then at night Field gets even better – the work lights up to guarantee something damned surreal. So we reckon you should quit speed walking from Pitt St through to lower Oxford – Hyde Park’s no longer just a thoroughfare for the next month. Get on this.
Berlin. It’s almost everyone’s favourite city. There’s the Wall, the Berghain and the city’s incredible atmosphere. Oh and then there’s the pedestrian walking man symbol – he’s just so jolly! And guess what? He’s here in Sydney. Maya Barkai’s The Banner Gallery will adorn everywhere from William Street to Glebe Point Road with her favourite walking men from across the globe.
Fancy yourself an armchair detective? How about a hardboiled sleuth with a penchant for whiskey? Boy, do we have a treat for you. Penguin Plays Rough At City Of Shadows is a three-series event taking place at the Justice & Police Museum. It’s all about reinvigorating Sydney’s criminal past. The first two events in the series will see five writers take inspiration from mug shots and crime scene pics from the NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive to create scenarios and suspects. These scenarios and suspects will then be the basis of the series’ third performance when participating writers bring them to life onstage. The first two events take place on Friday September 20 and Friday November 22, the third taking place as part of Sydney Festival 2014 on Friday January 17.
Now for Art & About’s precious (es)cargo(t). Twenty-four gigantic neon snails will be slithering into Sydney’s most iconic public spaces including Martin Place and Hyde Park for Snailovation. Yes, OMG! It’s Snailzilla! But dad jokes aside, the project comes from international art collective Cracking Art Group with artists William Sweetlove, Renzo Nucara, Marco Veronese, Kicco, Alex Angi and Carlo Rizetti. Reminiscent of Jeff Koons’ work, the Snailovation installations are all made entirely of recycled materials and each serve as a reminder of the importance of environmental action. Any suffering molluscophobia are advised to avoid Pitt Street Mall, The Star, World Square for the entire month of Art & About.
When we said Art & About was turning the streets of Sydney city into one big canvas, we meant it. And to prove it Project 5, Volume 5 will be transforming Darling Quarter’s Village Green into an open-air studio. Australian street artists Adnate, Jodee Knowles, Numskull and Rone will join Future Classic DJs for the free event that’ll have an audience watch the artists paint before them. For those with a little more than a student income, the live-painted works will later be auctioned at Darling Quarter’s Commonwealth Bank Place. All proceeds will go towards the digital arts program from the Information and Cultural Exchange. It’s all happening from Friday September 27 until Sunday September 29. In conjunction with this, a month-long art exhibition will show at aMBUSH Gallery and OPEN, Darling Quarter’s pop-up exhibition space.
Relive the heartbreak of a ’40s love affair and soldier on to Potts Point where Alexandra Ehrenberg has rediscovered love letters from the World Wars. The artist has blown up handwritten words onto posters and turned Llankelly Place into a history museum. Exhibiting for the entirety of Art & About, you’ll be encouraged to post pictures and thoughts on your twitter and instagrams with the hashtag #linesoflove.
If you’re anything like us, your worst nightmare is having your dirty laundry publically sprawled across the city centre. And we mean literally. Sydney-based design studio, Alphabet,are airing out your secrets in the open-air of World Square. The project features items of clothing and under-garments with our secrets written across them, most of which have been admitted by the Sydney public. Maybe don’t bring your significant other along to this one if you’re prone to blushing.
BY RACHEL EDDIE
Art & About 2013 launches Friday September 20 and runs until Sunday October 20.