Itching for a culture fix?
Sydney is blessed with incredible art galleries, such as the Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. But beyond the big players lie a raft of fun, funky and free art galleries to explore in the inner city. Why wait for Art Month or the Biennale of Sydney to immerse yourself in the city’s unique creative spaces?
Here are six of our favourite art galleries in our local area:
White Rabbit Gallery
The ever-changing collections at the White Rabbit Gallery offer more than just a glimpse into another culture. With a focus on work produced in the 21st-century, the gallery is home to one of the most significant collections of contemporary Chinese art in the world. Its impressive collection now includes over 2,500 works from over 500 artists. The gallery is a charity and admission is free. Head to the atmospheric café afterwards to discuss what you’ve just seen over tasty dumplings or scones and an extensive Asian tea menu.
Established in the 1980s as an artist-run gallery, Artspace has long been home to some of the city’s most exciting contemporary and experimental art. It was intended as a counterpoint to Sydney’s large commercial galleries, where new and emerging artists could find a home. Over the years it has also been home to exhibitions by a number of the Australian art world’s leading lights. The gallery hosts artist studios, public programs and rotating exhibitions.
Gillie & Marc
Best known for their animal alter egos, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, Gillie and Marc Schattner are a couple who have been creating collaborative art together for over 25 years. As passionate eco-warriors and animal activists, their work reflects themes of conservation and endangerment. Their anthropomorphic sculptures can be seen in public spaces around the world. Visit the Gillie & Marc gallery in Alexandria to peruse a selection of their latest works.
aMBUSH Gallery in Waterloo is one of Sydney’s leading proponents of urban and street art. It specialises in site-specific, project-based art, so there’s always something new and interesting to see here. aMBUSH has a proud history of staging immersive activations that engage and challenge viewers while supporting local artists. Here you’ll find rotating exhibitions by new, emerging and established artists.
Utopia Art Sydney
This Alexandria-based gallery is dedicated to promoting Aboriginal artists from the Northern Territory alongside non-Indigenous artists. Utopia Art Sydney has been responsible for the promotion of Aboriginal artists, such as Emily Kame Kngwarreye, into the mainstream contemporary art scene. As one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal art galleries, it’s a must-visit for anyone with an appreciation of Indigenous art or wishes to learn more. Works include those by members of the Papunya Tula Artists, Gloria Petyarre from Utopia, and non-Indigenous artists from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.
Founded in 1980 as a federal government initiative, Artbank has been promoting contemporary Australian art for over 35 years. The funding for Artbank comes from leasing works from its contemporary collections. This means that members of the public can lease its works for a fraction of their insured value – making modern visual art more accessible to all. Visit the Waterloo gallery to browse or search the extensive collection online. With over 10,000 works across multi-disciplinary media spanning painting, sculpture, video and photography, there’s plenty to discover and explore.