Culture Guide July 2 – 8: Daneha, People of Art, Les Miserables & More

July 1st 2018
Monday 2nd July

Book Launch: Ambitious Alignments

Tonight Power Publications and National Gallery Singapore are hosting the launch of Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art, 1945 to 1990. The book explores the art and architecture of Southeast Asia in the postwar period and includes ten essays by emerging scholars who draw upon unexplored archives and works of art across Cambodia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and beyond.

WHAT: Book Launch
WHEN: 5-7:30PM.
WHERE: The Refectory, Level 5, Abercrombie Business School
Cnr of Abercrombie & Codrington St, Darlington.
HOW MUCH: FREE – More details here

Windows into Wartime

Presented by The Riverside Theatre and NSW State Archives & Records, this exhibition will be on display in Riverside Theatres foyer for a limited time to compliment the season of Australian Theatre for Young People (atyp)’s A Town Named War Boy. This must-see exhibition features images produced by NSW Government photographers during and immediately after the Great War that document and reveals how society came together to support Australia’s military campaign overseas.

WHAT: Archival exhibition
WHEN: Daily until August 15th
WHERE: Riverside Theatres – Corner Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
HOW MUCH: FREE – More details here

The Cooks River Aboriginal Oral History Exhibition

The exhibition pairs natural soundscapes of the Cooks River with photographic portraits and oral histories of 12 Aboriginal people with a lived experience and connection to the river. The exhibition is a commissioned work funded by the Australian Government through the Cooks River​ Alliance. The project grew out of the desire to know more about the Aboriginal use of the catchment from ancient times to the present day.

WHAT: The Cooks River Aboriginal Oral History Exhibition
WHERE: 107 Projects, Redfern
WHEN:  28 Jun 2018 – 8 Jul
HOW MUCH: Free, more info here

Tuesday 3rd July

Les Misérables '18

Tonight sees the opening of an ambitious group exhibition – exploring how we consume narratives. The exhibition asks us to reconsider our perceptions of history and its figures—and the uncanny ways pantomime reflects how our culture actually remembers. Featuring a stellar line up of artists including: Liam Benson x Cassandra Bird, Dean Cross, Beth Dillon, Heidi Lefebvre, Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Luke O’Connor x George Haddad, Katy B Plummer, Em Size, Marcia Swaby, Alexander Tanazefti, Athena Thebus, Amanda Wolf and Zoe Wong.

WHAT: Exhibition Opening
WHEN: 5 – 8 PM
WHERE: Kudos Gallery – 6 Napier St, Paddington
HOW MUCH: FREE – More details here

The Last Seed - Janet Tavener

These mesmerizing works will leave you looking more closely – but for what? The series titled “The Last Seed” draws its content from Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, that houses 5,000 species of essential food crops deep within the Arctic permafrost. The vault was supposed to be an impenetrable, modern-day Noah’s ark for plants, a life raft against climate change and catastrophe. But a recent flood threatened its security – heavy rain occurred at a time of year when the temperature was usually well below freezing. Check out this inspired series that captures nature, catastrophe & beauty.

WHAT: Exhibition
WHEN: Open Tuesday – Saturday from 10-5PM.
WHERE: May Space – 409b George Street Waterloo.
HOW MUCH: FREE – More details here

Wednesday 4th July

Original Nature

In a new exhibition of sculptural work, Owen Leong draws on Taoist philosophies to explore the idea of original nature. A person’s original mind exists prior to cultural conditioning. Reconnecting with original nature involves emptying the self, until we arrive at an awareness unclouded by habitual thoughts, emotions and memories.

WHAT: Exhibition Opening
WHEN: 6 – 8 PM
WHERE: Artereal Gallery – 747 Darling Street, Rozelle
HOW MUCH: FREE – More details here

Firstdraft Openings

Head down to Firstdraft for four exciting bodies of work. Our pick is featured in Gallery two – Gallery 2 and entitled ‘MAHAL’ by Marikit Santiago. Mahal is the Tagalog word that translates to ‘love’ and without altering the pronunciation or spelling, also means ‘expensive’. Only the context of its use differentiates the meaning. This exhibition explores this exchange of simultaneous meaning of two disparate terms explores a personal investigation of cultural plurality at the conjunction of Filipina ethnicity and Australian nationality.

WHAT: Exhibition Opening
WHEN: 6 – 8 PM
WHERE: Firstdraft, 13-17 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo,
HOW MUCH: FREE – More details here 

Thursday 5th July


Presented by Blacktown Arts, this project presents a multi-faceted artistic program made up of a visual arts exhibition, artist talks, musical performances and theatre, all inspired by Daneha or (Seeds); here representing the displacement of the Afghan community across the globe, and the cultivation of roots in foreign, unfamiliar soil. It all begins tonight with the launch of the visual arts exhibition featuring new works by Avan Anwar (Melbourne), Elyas Alavi (Adelaide), Zainab Haidariy (Germany), Nazanin Marashian (Sydney), Gerrie Mifsud (Sydney) and internationally acclaimed, Blacktown-based artist Khadim Ali.

WHAT: Exhibition Opening
WHEN: 6 – 8 PM
WHERE: The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre – 78 Flushcombe Rd, Blacktown
HOW MUCH: FREE – More details here

Longhouse: Creating the Magic of Siti Rubiya

Carriageworks and Contemporary Asian Australian Performance present a sit down with the creative team behind CAAP’s exciting new work in development, ‘Siti Rubiyah’ by Katrina Irawati Graham.. Meet the writer Katrina Irawati Graham, director Tessa Leong, set and lighting designer Govin Ruben, movement director Danielle Micich, media artist Bambang N Karim and sound designer Michael Toisuta, as they discuss the challenge of theatricalising the horror and magic of this fantastic story.

WHAT: Creative Presentation
WHEN: 6 – 8 PM
WHERE: Carriageworks – 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
HOW MUCH: $10 – More details here

Friday 6th July

Figures of slippage and oscillation

Izabela Pluta’s new exhibition at Ideas Platform in Artspace explores the assumptions around how place is depicted and perceived. The main component of her installation includes 60 paper negatives that have been made by employing a camera-less process of contact printing full-page relief maps from three different editions of an out-of-date atlas. What eventuates is a visual collapse of states, territories and geographical names that blurs the distinction between the land masses, their coordinates and the political entities that govern them.

WHAT: Exhibition
WHEN: Daily 11-5/6PM until July 15th.
WHERE: Artspace, The Gunnery, 43-51 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo
HOW MUCH: Free – More details here 

Out of Life

Head to Sullivan+Strumpf to see an exhibition of new work by Darren Sylvester. Combining references to Hollywood, magic, mortality and Microsoft, the exhibition was inspired by the purchase of an unidentified 1970s science fiction space suit. Out of Life continues Sylvester’s ongoing interest in authenticity, desire and death. Subjects he examines through an off-beat narrative borne out of a lost moment of pop-culture.

WHAT: Exhibition
WHEN: Daily until August 4th.
WHERE: Sullivan + Strumpf – 799 Elizabeth St, Zetland
HOW MUCH: Free – More details here

Saturday 7th July

Workshop: Drawing Imagined Worlds for Manga and Anime

Learn to construct your own fictional manga and anime world with published manga illustrator, Queenie Chan! Exploring the basics of world-building for manga or anime, this workshop will help you gain basic understanding of how to give your story a distinct visual identity by create architectural structures or character costumes unique to their world. Workshop participants do not need to have advanced drawing experience but are expected to have some basic drawing skills to get the most out of the workshop.

WHAT: Workshop
WHERE: Japan Foundation Sydney – 28 Broadway, Chippendale.
HOW MUCH: $20 – Book here

Abantu - People of Art

Sydney based collective Black Birds are collaborating with Albertina Thabisini Ncube of ATN Photography to bring ‘Abantu – People of Art’ to Sydney. This documenarty film is about young creatives based in Zimbabwe who, despite lack of support and limited economic resources, are following their passion and break into the creative industries. All funds raised will go towards a convention/exhibition for creatives based in Zimbabwe (Harare and Bulawayo) that will take place in December 2018.

WHAT: Screening
WHEN: 6-11PM
WHERE: Flow Studios, 57 Denison Street, Camperdown
HOW MUCH: $15 online, $20 on the door. Tickets here

Sunday 8th July

John Mawurndjul Family Day

In the lead up to NAIDOC week, why not stop in at the MCA and join in on a day of events celebrating the art and language of master bark painter John Mawurndjul. As part of the opening weekend of Mawurndjul’s survey exhibition, ‘John Mawurndjul: I am the old and the new’, meet musical sensations Microwave Jenny, learn to count in Kuninjku, then grab a cushion and settle in for a story in the galleries.

WHAT: Exhibition, performances, workshops
WHEN: 10:30 – 4PM
WHERE: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia – 140 George Street, The Rocks
HOW MUCH: Free – more here


What does it mean to be a ‘real Australian’ in an age of globalised citizenship? Individual and collective identity are now moderated by economic, political, religious and cultural influences. Delving into the archives of state and national cultural collections, Drew revitalises the histories of Australia’s enduring ethnic diversity during the era of White Australia policies. Reproducing official government photographs as screen printed posters, the aesthetics and techniques of his street art melds past and present.

WHAT: Exhibition
WHEN: Daily until October 28th.
WHERE: Customs House -31 Alfred Street, Sydney, Level 2
HOW MUCH: Free – more here

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