November 30, 2015

Art Month Sydney returns in 2016 with new artistic director and fresh programming ideas for 7th annual event celebrating Sydney’s creative eco system

Art Month Sydney returns in 2016, from 1 March – 20 March, with new Creative Director, Barry Keldoulis at the helm. This follows Barry’s recent success as Director of Sydney Contemporary art fair in 2013 and 2015 and the Melbourne Art Fair in 2014. The dynamic program, inspired by the creative producers of Sydney, will expand across the city and inhabit new spaces and unexpected locations. Comprised of Exhibitions, Talks, Tours, Experiences and the much-loved Precinct Nights, Art Month Sydney will highlight the galleries, institutions, ARIs, art schools, artists and curators that generate Sydney’s marketplace of ideas.
The Collectors’ Space, an annual exhibition that celebrates private art collectionspartners with long term sponsors, AON, and, for the first time in 2016, BresicWhitney, to present an exhibition at an unoccupied inner city house. The space, announced only weeks before the exhibition opens, will exhibit works from the collections of Sally Dan- Cuthbert, Courtney Gibson, Danny Goldberg, and Jasper Knight. The domestic setting of the Collectors’ Space will provide a domestic context not normally associated with a public exhibition of contemporary art.
This year, Art Month introduces an additional curated exhibition called Green Eyed Monster Eating its Own Tail. This exhibition will showcase artists that make art  about art and the art world. Artists include Tracey Moffatt, Tom Polo, Heath Franco, Grant Stevens, Elvis Richardson, Gordon Bennett (John Citizen) and PJ Hickman.
Precinct Nights return in 2016, beginning with a Mardi Gras-inspired queer night in East Sydney on Thursday, 3 March. Queer performers will activate restaurants, bars and retail stores during the night, while Alaska Studios hosts a queer cabaret in their untouched basement space. In addition, a pop up bar will be held in Crown Lane at Creative Space 99.
This year, Art Month will be working in partnership with Parramatta’s Information Cultural Exchange on the new project titled 'Mother’s Spice', it is a multimedia performance presented by a cast of newly arrived migrant, asylum seeker and refugee mothers living in Western Sydney. They will use spice as a performance element and a trigger to perform their own stories as inspired by their personal memories, journeys, experiences of motherhood and life in Australia.
A number of Sydney galleries have also been confirmed to take part in the 2016 program, including Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery who will be doing a book launch and talk with Daniel Boyd.   In addition, Brenda May Gallery and artist Todd Fuller invite the public to contribute to his participatory animation 'The Unite Project,’ responding to the work through drawing, colouring, writing or collage. 107 Projects will present Audiocraft is a day for radio producers, podcasters and documentary storytellers to come together and talk, listen and learn about making great stories with sound.

Four Creative Ambassadors appointed for 2016 Spectrum Now Festival

The Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum Now Festival presented by ANZ from 1 until 16 March 2016, today announced ARIA award-winning musician and songwriter Megan Washington, renowned Australian artist and dual-Archibald Prize winner Del Kathryn Barton, one of Australia’s most popular and versatile entertainers David Campbell and television presenter and comedian Charlie Pickering as the four Creative Ambassadors for the 2016 Festival. Spectrum Now’s Creative Ambassadors for 2016, will assist to develop the 2016 program, overseeing the music, art, stage and talks content respectively. 

As the public faces of the festival, the Creative Ambassadors will draw on their considerable expertise in their fields to provide creative direction and garner participation and support from local and international arts communities and key opinion leaders. 

In 2015, the Spectrum Now Festival attracted 100,000 people across over 200 exhibitions, gigs and events, under the direction of actor Richard Roxburgh. The 2016 festival will celebrate Sydney’s vibrant culture and inspiring creative locals, with a dynamic program of unique and unexpected collaborations across art, music, stage and talks.
Returning in 2016, signature event, Spectrum Now @ The Domain an 11 day outdoor event located at the Domain, will be on from 3 – 13 March 2016. With ticketed music concerts curated by the Secret Sounds Group and a free outdoor art festival, The Domain will be brought to life with music, art, performance, dining and drinking. Across the road at the Art Gallery of NSW, the sell out conversation events at the inaugural Festival will also make a return, curated with input from Fairfax’s top journalists, editors and writers from entertainment. The first release line-up of events for Spectrum Now Festival 2016 will be announced at the end of November.

Collaborations between artist, perfumer, florist and bespoke Scottish scarf maker explored in all-encompassing body of new work by Alesandro Liubicic

Alesandro Ljubicic, known for his luxuriant use of oil paint and bold hues, will unveil a new body of paintings for a solo exhibition titled The Scent of Painting, to be presented at Michael Reid Sydney from 3 until 27 February 2016.
A colour-intensive, physically immersive response to the beauty of nature, The Scent of Painting will envelop the viewer in a creative collaboration that brings together the artist; the Sydney-based florist, Mr. Cook; the Brisbane-based perfumer, Damask Perfumery; and the bespoke scarf manufacturer Kmossed, from Edinburgh, Scotland.
Examining the intense beauty of nature, Ljubicic invites the audience on a multi-layered and vivid experience through this constructed ecosystem; each sense engaged by a heady mix of colour, texture and aroma.
The Scent of Painting reveals both of Ljubicic's best known art forms: his large and small scale Still Life floral paintings on stretched linen and his gestural colour studies on birch boards. Both instantly recognisable by the drag and scoop of vibrant slabs of pure oil paint; the resulting surfaces taking on a distinctly sculptural quality. The exhibition will show some 25 works on linen and 30 colour studies.
Ljubicic draws inspiration from a diverse selection of florists both nationally and internationally. For The Scent of Painting, he has collaborated closely with floral designer Sean Cook. To compliment the new body of work, Ljubicic, for the first time, has also created a unique magnolia infused scent and limited edition, hand-made scarves printed with his artwork, both available within the exhibition.

Blake Prize finalists announced

 Casula Powerhouse Art Centre (CPAC) and the Blake Society announced finalists for the 2016 Blake Prize, Australia’s longest standing and most prestigious art prize which encourages conversation about spirituality and religion through art. The Blake Prize exhibition will be presented for the first time at CPAC, from 13 February until 24 April 2016, featuring the work of 8o finalists from across Australia, Ireland, the USA, Switzerland, France, Germany and New Zealand. 
The winner of the 64th Blake Prize – presented biennially – receives $35,000 and the Emerging Artist Award, an acquisitive prize, is awarded $6,000. In addition, CPAC will also offer the inaugural Blake Residency program a one-month residency at CPAC and a solo exhibition which will be unveiled at the 2018 Blake exhibition program.  This year there were 594 entries for the Prize with the 80 finalists selected by the curatorial team at CPAC.