A new multi-venue art biennale for Sydney to debut in 2017

Three of Sydney’s largest cultural institutions, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia are curating a new city-wide exhibition to showcase and support Australian art. Taking place over a six year period, The National: New Australian Art will present three editions in 2017, 2019 and 2021, connecting The Domain, Redfern and Circular Quay. Acting as the only large scale, multi-venue art exhibition that Sydney has to offer, the event will act as a counterpart to the Biennale of Sydney, Australia’s largest contemporary arts festival.

The National: New Australian Art will present local artists, emerging, mid-career and established Australian artists, curating relationships with artists through commissioning and developing new work. Each location will work with artists at various career stages to present artwork that reflects their personal flair, that also displays the individual tone of each institution. In addition, there will be a strong focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and artworks.

On the exhibition, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE explained “The project’s artistic emphasis will be on profiling new work and enabling innovative new commissions over six years, providing sustainable options for professional development, exposure and career sustainability for our nation’s living artists.”

“It will also enable our three institutions to reach, engage, share and grow diverse audiences through free and low-cost public programs, fostering participation and knowledge sharing.”

Although the exhibitions will only run for three separate instalments, there will be a strong focus on generating audience engagement programs with audiences between the exhibition periods, generating a constant stream of contemporary art exposure.

Development of the exhibition is being led by Suhanya Raffel, the Deputy Director and Director of Collections at The Art Gallery of New South Wales; Lisa Havilah, Carriageworks’ Director; and Blair French, Director, Curatorial and Digital and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The exhibition dates for the 2017 instalment will be opening on March 30. The dates for each institution are:

Art Gallery of New South Wales: March 30 – July 16 2017

Carriageworks: March 30 – June 18 2017

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia: March 30 – June 18 2017

Image: Michael Brand of the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Lisa Havilah of Carriageworks and Elizabeth Ann Macgregor the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


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