Sydney Contemporary announces ambitious Installation Contemporary program, the inaugural MA Art Prize and more

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Sydney Contemporary announces ambitious Installation Contemporary program, the inaugural MA Art Prize and more
Lindy Lee, One Bright Pearl,2022.

SYDNEY.- Sydney Contemporary, in partnership with MA Financial Group, today announced the program for Installation Contemporary, as well as the inaugural MA Art Prize, and further gallery booth highlights for its anticipated seventh edition at Carriageworks from 7 – 10 September 2023.

This year Installation Contemporary presents ambitious large-scale artworks by 12 leading contemporary artists; Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Alex Seton, Brian Robinson, Jenna Lee, Jon Rafman, Julie Rrap, Lindy Lee, Louise Zhang, Mikala Dwyer, Roy Wiggan, Sarah Smuts-Kennedy and Tony Garifalakis.

Curated by Sarah Hetherington, Director, Galleries at Sydney Contemporary, Installation Contemporary is designed to showcase works that extend beyond the traditional booth presentation, providing an opportunity to experience innovative, site-specific, and interactive installations within the unique architecture of Carriageworks.

Sarah Hetherington, Director, Galleries at Sydney Contemporary and Installation Contemporary Curator said: “Installation Contemporary offers artists the opportunity to push the boundaries of their practice and exhibit ambitious, museum-quality projects in the iconic architectural environment of Carriageworks. Located throughout interstitial or transitional spaces, the works collectively explore themes of the body (human or animal), spirituality and transcendence, colonial history, language and cultural identity, memory and time, as well as materiality and the use of technology. Featuring Indigenous, Australian and International artists, Installation Contemporary, as a contrast to the visual stimulation and buzz of the Fair, provides audiences with unexpected encounters and moments of reflection, surprise and hopefully enjoyment!”


Abdul-Rahman Abdullah presents Dead Horse, a sculptural work that speaks to the poetics and potency of a still life. Singular in its representation yet abundant in its evocations, the work speaks to the many aspects attached to the horse as a cultural phenomenon, resonant paradoxically with presence and loss. Presented by Moore Contemporary.

Alex Seton presents a recent work created for the cells of The Lock-Up, Newcastle, this time inhabiting the contrasting environment of Carriageworks. Trying to Reinvent Themselves and Their Universe sees a series of chandeliers reminiscent of those found in the entranceways of clubs and RSLs of post-World War II Australia, exploring themes of memory and the passing of time. Presented by Sullivan+Strumpf.

Brian Robinson (Kala Lagaw Ya and Wuthathi) will present Banks Bounty: Erotic Cargo which tells the 250-year-old story of Joseph Banks' voyage to the Pacific with James Cook aboard HMB Endeavour. On this journey the first scientific collections of Australian Flora were taken back to England to be studied, dissected and drawn in the name of botanical science, little knowing that these exotic species had been used for thousands of years by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Presented by Mossenson Galleries.

Jenna Lee (Larrakia, Wardaman and Karajarri) presents to gather, to nourish, to sustain, first shown as a part of TarraWarra Biennial 2023, which sees over 45 individual words translated and hung in a site-specific installation demonstrating an ecological and lexical abundance of traditional lands, foods and words, with a focus on paper Dilly-bags. Presented by MARS Gallery.

Canadian artist Jon Rafman presents an iteration of his ongoing major project Nine Eyes of Google Street View, 2008–present, displaying a fascinating array of incidental moments reframed from Google Street View compiled over a decade of research. Rafman reintroduces the human gaze and reasserts the importance of the individual, whilst highlighting the tension between indiscriminate automated capture and the human desire for meaning characteristic of contemporary existence. Presented by Neon Parc.

Julie Rrap presents mixed media and video works from her seminal series The Dust of History. These wild, bold and primal works show a writhing nude figure, drawing itself, following the outlines of hands and feet, leaving traces of charcoal on the body. Presented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.

Lindy Lee presents One Bright Pearl, inspired by the ancient Chinese story of the Dragon’s Ball, a symbol of universal wholeness, wisdom, and spiritual power. During the day the sculpture absorbs and reflects the fleeting, ever-changing pageantry of its surroundings: the movements of people, sky, landscape, birds. At night, the internally lit work allows light to flow back into the world. Presented by Sullivan+Strumpf.

Louise Zhang’s Temple is an architectural installation modelled on her family temple in Qidu, China. It stands as a ghost, silhouetted in gothic black paint, a haunting spectre from the artist's memory and family photos. Forbidden by her Christian-abiding parents to enter, Zhang recreates the structure at Carriageworks in an attempt to rebuild missing links between her and her ancestors. Presented by N.Smith Gallery.

Roy Wiggan’s ilmas are striking representations of his intimate knowledge of the coastal areas and tidal patterns of his country that was passed onto him by his father. Whilst passing in 2015, his importance and influence as an artist remains, acting as an ongoing reference of Bardi cultural knowledge and storytelling. Presented by A Secondary Eye.

Mikala Dwyer will present Earthcraft, a work exemplifying her distinctive international practice, which explores ideas around shelter, childhood play, modernist design and the occult. Integrating a range of quotidian materials, Earthcraft is both experimental and experiential, playing with the permeable and changeable nature of objects and our relationship with them. Presented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery.

Sarah Smuts-Kennedy presents Discharge, a work comprising six large drawings rigged from the ceiling in the form of a hexagon. Bridging Sarah’s drawing and sculptural practices, viewers are encouraged to lie beneath the work to experience its internal energy system. Presented by Laree Payne Gallery.

Tony Garifalakis’ Scum Suite will see large-scale banners on cotton linen, depicting the text ‘SCUM’ paired with images from amateur craft magazines and interior design journals, unsettling their established meanings. A dissonance between text and image leads to a richer and more complex relationship between what the images represent and the influence this has. Presented by Hugo Michell Gallery.


The inaugural MA Art Prize has been established in 2023 to help identify, promote and realise the potential of emerging artists in Australia. The acquisitive prize valued at $10,000 will be awarded to one emerging artist showcasing work at Sydney Contemporary, selected by the judging panel comprised of Andrew Martin, Managing Director at MA Financial, Janna Robertson, Chief Operating Officer of MA Financial, Amelia Hill, Senior Advisor at MA Financial, Sue Cato, Collector, Philanthropist and Advisory Council member at Sydney Contemporary, and Ursula Sullivan, Co-Director Sullivan+Strumpf.

MA Financial Group has been Principal Partner of Sydney Contemporary since 2021. Through their support, Sydney Contemporary provides a platform to exhibit the most exciting and diverse contemporary art from across Australia, New Zealand, Asia and beyond. As members of corporate Australia, MA recognises its role in helping to bridge the gap in providing the necessary funding to ensure emerging artists have a platform to exhibit their work.


Galleria Continua presents works by the widely acclaimed British sculptor Sir Antony Gormley, showing in Sydney for the first time since 2010, and continuing his investigation into the relationship of the human body to space. The solo presentation will feature Gormley’s four-part work Wrestling with Modernism alongside four independent Blockworks.

Roslyn Oxley9 will premiere vivid new works by celebrated Yolgnu artist Dhambit Munuŋgurr, with her distinct brushstrokes and palettes of cobalt blue echoing depictions of the sky and sea.

Alcaston Gallery presents important works by one of Australia’s most renowned contemporary artists, Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori (c.1924 - 2015), following her major international solo survey exhibitions at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris in 2022, and the Triennale Milano, Italy in 2023, including a major four-and-a-half metre work with extraordinary provenance.

Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert presents a group show of exciting new works by Fernando do Campo and Jordan Gogos. Do Campo continues to explore histories encountered in the field and the archive, placing the lens on introduced tree species to uncover histories within the Australian landscape. Gogos delves into textures and forms with deadstock fabric, exploring the tension between control and chance through textile art.

ARC ONE presents photographic works by Murray Fredericks and Janet Laurence that ask audiences to reflect on important climate issues facing our planet, presenting the extremities of fire and ice. Fredericks brings his Australian debut of 'BLAZE', where he has created phantastic images of fire and flood, while Laurence showcases a new body of work addressing concerns for the plight of Antarctica.

Blackartprojects presents a group exhibition, including a new large scale terracotta figure by rising Indigenous artist Billy Bain, who was a finalist in this year's Wynne and Sulman prizes. Bain’s work explores his experience as an Indigenous man existing within urban Australia.

Artereal Gallery presents new works by experimental ceramicist Ebony Russell, known for her tactile ceramic works made from cake-piped porcelain, created in mentorship with renowned Australian author Nikki Gemmell, both delving into strong feminist themes within their practices.

day01. presents dynamic new paintings by Martin Poppelwell created during the apocalyptic aftermath of New Zealand's recent Cyclone Gabrielle, which hit the heart of Hawkes Bay where the artists’ studio is situated, leaving widespread devastation in the region.

Sullivan+Strumpf will showcase a group presentation by leading artists Marion Abraham, Tony Albert, Glenn Barkley, Yvette Coppersmith, Daniel Crooks, Lynda Draper, Greg Hodge, Joanna Lamb, Michael Lindeman, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Alex Seton, Michael Zavros, and the first new work by Julia Gutman since winning the Archibald Prize 2023.

N.Smith Gallery presents a curated booth pairing the gallery’s senior artists, Danie Mellor, Joan Ross, and James Tylor, with their emerging artists, Dylan Mooney, Thea Anamara Perkins, Kyra Mancktelow, Tom Blake and Joshua Charadia, to create exciting new works.

Sutton Gallery presents a group exhibition, including a new painting by Gian Manik, depicting dancers from the Australian Ballet in various stages of movement in front of a backdrop inspired by a scene from Swan Lake.

Sydney Contemporary returns to Carriageworks this year with its largest edition to date featuring over 500 artists showcased by 96 emerging and established galleries from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore, from 7 – 10 September 2023.

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