Category: ARTS & CULTURE

What to expect at Biennale of Sydney

Sydney Biennale dancer

The vibrant city is set to host the 24th edition of the Biennale of Sydney, aptly titled “Ten Thousand Suns,” from 9 March to 10 June 2024. As a free public event, it shines as a beacon of contemporary artistic expression and is the largest of its kind in Australia. Art enthusiasts will be drawn to venues like the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, the Chau Chak Wing Museum at the University of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, the Sydney Opera House, and the revitalized White Bay Power Station to experience this cultural phenomenon. Led by artistic directors Cosmin Costina? and Inti Guerrero, “Ten Thousand Suns” invites celebration into its core, weaving joy with the threads of collective resistance and unity against historical injustices. Taking inspiration from First Nations technology, Queer resilience, and global carnival traditions, the festival delves into the current climate emergency while steadfastly rejecting a dystopian vision of the future. This year, marking the Biennale’s 50th anniversary, the program challenges the western narrative of an apocalyptic end and chooses to embrace a future filled with collaborative joy and shared success. The festival will feature 96 artists and collectives hailing from over 50 countries, each bringing a personal touch rooted in diverse communities and artistic vernaculars. Many of the artworks act as commentaries on global issues while honoring the power of personal and collective stories. One featured commission is Yankunytjatjara artist Kaylene Whiskey’s ‘Kaylene TV,’ a testament to her joyous and unique vision, displayed on a grand scale. The Fondation… Read More

Uni of Melbourne’s got new Cultural Precinct Program

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Melbourne’s cultural scene is about to be enhanced with a fresh and engaging program of public shows announced by the University of Melbourne Arts and Culture (UMAC). Set on the bustling Parkville campus, both students and the wider community are in for a treat as they will have the opportunity to partake in a year-long schedule of inspiring performances and exhibitions. UMAC, an initiative under the University of Melbourne, has been established to reinforce the institution’s commitment to the performing arts. Its mission is to offer a diverse range of arts experiences that will not only enrich student life but also engage with the wider public throughout the year. According to Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Wesley, this expansion reflects the University’s enduring support and celebration of the performing arts, creating a platform to showcase both local and international talents right within the campus grounds. The new Arts & Cultural Building, home to the Union and Guild Theatres, is at the heart of this precinct, accompanied by the beautifully renovated Building 189 and the open-air Amphitheatre. The precinct’s advantageous location near the No. 1 Swanston Street tram stop and Lygon Street, together with its award-winning design, positions it as a marquee destination for performance and art lovers in Melbourne. With Virginia Lovett at the helm as the Performing Arts Director, UMAC promises to deliver major contemporary works and activate the cultural spaces situated in CBD North. Patrons can look forward to an annual program that promises to be as rich in variety as it is in… Read More

Angelica Kauffman is at the Royal Academy of Art London

Self portrait of Sir Joshua Reynolds

In March 2024, the Royal Academy of Arts is set to unveil a remarkable tribute to Angelica Kauffman, one of the most distinguished artists of the 18th century and a founding member of the Academy itself. The exhibition aims to celebrate the rich tapestry of Kauffman’s life and works, guiding the visitor through the journey of her prolific career—from her early recognition as a child prodigy to becoming one of Europe’s most sought-after painters. Kauffman’s oeuvre is a testament to her versatility, with a portfolio that boasts history paintings, portraits, and her remarkable self-portraits. Each of the over 30 artworks on display, including many that have never graced the UK before, offers a glimpse into her journey across Europe and her ultimate rise to fame. These pieces collectively narrate a story of exceptional talent, determination, and how Kauffman carved out a space for herself in a predominantly male industry during the 18th century. As attendees navigate through the four distinct sections of the exhibit, they will encounter Kauffman’s self-portraits that artfully placed her identity under her own control—a bold statement for a woman of her time. The exhibition will also delve into her training in Rome, her celebrated arrival in London where she was “Angelicamad,” and her poignant works that often depicted female protagonists. Further exploring her relationship with the Royal Academy, the show will shed light on her influence amidst the gender constraints of her era, highlighted by Zoffany’s portrayal of Kauffman and Moser in “The Academicians of the Royal Academy.” By featuring her… Read More

Design legacy of Visnja Brdar at MUMA


New York-based Creative Director, Visnja Brdar, has emerged as a prominent figure in the global design arena, leaving an indelible mark with her innovative and captivating work. From her humble beginnings as a seventeen-year-old to the most recent artworks, Brdar’s journey encapsulates a narrative of unwavering commitment, creativity, and impact on the world of graphic design. The upcoming exhibition, “Visnja Brdar: Design Exalted,” supported by Monash Art Design and Architecture, is poised to be a transformative event, shining a spotlight on the evolving legacy of this influential Australian female designer within the global design landscape. As the centerpiece of the 2024 Melbourne Design Week, this exhibition holds the promise of unveiling the depth and breadth of Brdar’s enduring values and contributions to the design world. Set to be featured in the annual program of leading Australian design, “Design Exalted” is not only an homage to Brdar’s exceptional body of work but also a celebration of her profound influence on the design community. The exhibition will serve as a testament to the transformative power of design, showcasing Brdar’s evolution from her early days as a budding talent to her current status as a trailblazing force in the industry. Adding to the significance of this milestone event is the release of Brdar’s first book, a publication that stands as a testament to her impact and influence. Co-published by Monash University Museum of Art and Powerhouse Publishing, this book, meticulously designed by Brdar herself, offers a comprehensive exploration of her work within the Australian, international, design, and broader… Read More

See West Side Story in Sydney

Opera Australia West Side Story HOSH fireworks

Get ready for an electrifying and larger-than-life experience as the smash-hit musical, West Side Story, returns to the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour stage for a strictly limited 4-week season from March 22. This annual highlight of Sydney’s cultural calendar promises an unforgettable night out, combining breathtaking performances with stunning views and entertainment. An Unforgettable Experience Audiences will be treated to the greatest score ever written for musical theatre, dynamic dance numbers, and captivating voices that resonate through the open air. The brilliant cast of West Side Story on Sydney Harbour is set to deliver an unforgettable performance, making this event one of Sydney’s most spectacular nights out. Each performance will culminate with a nightly fireworks display, adding a touch of magic to an already extraordinary experience. Moreover, the venue offers a variety of pop-up bars and eateries across the site, ranging from fine dining to casual bites, ensuring that there’s something for every taste. Indulgence and Luxury For those seeking a touch of luxury, the stunning HSBC Platinum Club will offer a fine-dining dinner menu before each performance, with drinks available before the show and during the interval. Nestled among the treetops, this exclusive setting provides truly spectacular views overlooking Sydney Harbour, promising an unmissable and indulgent experience. Additionally, ticketholders will have access to the Qantas Garden Bar, Feel New Sydney Terrace, Southern Terrace, and Northern Cantina, each offering a more casual atmosphere with a mix of dinner, drinks, and snacks. This allows audiences to tailor their evening to perfection, creating their own ideal… Read More

Flamenco in London: Paco Peña’s “Solera”

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Flamenco enthusiasts, mark your calendars! Paco Peña, the esteemed flamenco guitarist, composer, and producer, alongside his talented company, is set to grace the stage of Sadler’s Wells Theatre with “Solera” from Wednesday, April 17th to Saturday, April 20th. This highly anticipated return follows the resounding success of its initial run in 2022, promising an enthralling exploration of artistic wisdom and the fearless pursuit of new expression under the guidance of Peña and his long-time collaborator, theatre director Jude Kelly CBE. The heart of “Solera” draws inspiration from the solera system, a traditional aging process for wine hailing from Andalucía in Southern Spain. This fascinating method involves fractional blending, resulting in a beverage that embodies a mixture of ages, with its average age increasing gradually over the years. The term “solera,” meaning “on the ground” in Spanish, refers to the lower level of the barrels used in this process, symbolizing the transfer of liquid from top to bottom, echoing the rich history and evolution of flamenco tradition. At the core of Peña’s spectacle is the celebration of flamenco’s heritage, passed down through generations while embracing new forms of expression. “Solera” brings together both seasoned and emerging talents, uniting young and mature artists, including dancers, musicians, and singers. Witness the mesmerizing synergy as 81-year-old guitar virtuoso Paco Peña performs alongside the innovative young flamenco guitar exponent, Dani de Morón, accompanied by the rhythmic prowess of dancers Angel Muñoz, Adriana Bilbao, and Gabriel Matías, who brings his specialized flamenco expertise from Madrid. The production beautifully captures the essence… Read More

Unlocking the Beauty in Grey: Eser Gündüz’s New Exhibition

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Eser Gündüz, the Turkish contemporary expressionist artist, is set to captivate art enthusiasts once again with his upcoming exhibition titled ‘This is a Grey World, Nothing Good Happens Here’. The showcase, running from 16th to 28th February, is a profound exploration of the relationship between nature and urban life, challenging the conventional perception of the color grey and inviting viewers to uncover the hidden beauty within. Through 17 new works, Gündüz seeks to redefine the notion that the world is dull, desolate, and monotonous. The color grey, often associated with negative connotations in modern society, becomes a canvas for the artist to convey a powerful message of hope and beauty. Drawing inspiration from his recent move from urban Provence to rural France, Gündüz introduces a muted color palette that deftly captures the coexistence of nature and urban life. In a departure from his previous vibrant creations, the artist’s latest pieces reveal an innovative technical element, incorporating electronic components that illuminate his signature resin frames. This serves as a symbolic representation of the illumination of darkness, urging viewers not to be deceived by the mundane, but to seek out the hidden beauty that lies within. Gündüz’s journey to uncover the beauty in grey has been profoundly influenced by his newfound connection to nature. By witnessing its constant renewal despite human impact, he has embraced a new aesthetic that celebrates the harmony between the natural world and industrial elements. His works feature striking depictions of nuclear reactors and factory chimneys, emphasizing the inherent beauty that exists within… Read More

Les Femmes new music in Sydney

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Prepare to be swept away by the magnetic allure of Les Femmes – an all-female musical ensemble comprising former ‘The Voice’ contestants, exuding sophistication, charm, and pure entertainment. This vibrant trio is not just a musical act; it’s an immersive experience paying tribute to the legendary male artists who have left an indelible mark on the world of music. Les Femmes will be gracing the stage at Cardea Bar in Sydney throughout February and March, promising an unforgettable evening of live music, delectable dining, and innovative cocktails. Get ready to indulge in an evening of revelry and musical magic while immersing yourself in the opulent, elegant, and old-world charm that Cardea is renowned for. Details:

Reuben Kaye for one night only at Sydney Opera House

Reuben Kaye Sydney Opera House Joan Sutherland Theatre performers 2

Prepare yourselves for an evening of uproarious laughter and spectacular vocals as the dazzling Reuben Kaye graces the Joan Sutherland Theatre once more with “Opera Up Late” – an unparalleled fusion of opera and comedy that promises more than just a night at the theatre. Hailed as the diamond at the heart of last year’s WorldPride festival, this comical genius will captivate you on Friday, 1st March, for a one-night extravaganza that guarantees to annihilate the conventional boundaries of classical and cabaret. Picture the scene: the clock strikes 10:45 pm, and a murmur of anticipation ripples through the hallowed hallways of the Sydney Opera House. The stage ignites with a spectacle of colour and the air thrums with iconic operatic melodies, reborn with a refreshingly irreverent twist. With Reuben Kaye at the helm, this event draws together the creme de la creme of Australian talent, including operatic tenor Benjamin Rasheed and the effervescent Georgina Hopson, to name but a few. Reuben Kaye is an unparalleled mastery of satire, combined with a vocal prowess that defies expectation, crafts an experience that is at once breathtaking and wildly unorthodox. This is not your grandmother’s night at the opera. It’s an invitation to partake in something revolutionary, a chance to witness the extraordinary, a rendezvous with the sublime and the ridiculous. Those familiar with Kaye will recognise his inimitable style: vivid, audacious, and endlessly entertaining. “Carmen at eight years old was just the overture,” Kaye quips with signature flair. Prepare for the crescendo as he delivers what could… Read More