Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sydney Contemporary first night - 19 September

Congrats to Barry and the team.  If the crowd on the opening night was anything to go by, the punters will want this as an annual event!  I heard someone describe the queueing for drinks and to get into different parts of the space like being at the Easter Show.  And she was pretty well on the money too.  I ran into people I didn't expect to whilst not actually managing to find people we knew were going.  With hundreds of galleries, and thousands of works, I will need to come back a few times to get the full lay of the land so this is just some quick first thoughts ...

1. Carriageworks worked pretty well as a venue.  Maybe I am just speaking for me but I thought it was going to be a charlie foxtrot of a process.  We had no trouble getting there or leaving.

2.  Great to see a few non-commercial spaces like Alaska /  Firstdraft at the fair, and more importantly doing very well.  Seb Goldspink looked pretty pleased with all the red stickers in his booth.

3.  Also loved that they had some performance art at the fair.  The Mrs and I channelled the spirit of the department store and lined up to see 'Santa' (aka Liam Benson).  It was about 20 minutes to wait which was well worth it for the trippy experience (literally, I nearly fell down the stairs in the darkened theatre) of seeing an almost god-like Santa (or maybe even King Neptune?).  And it was a really great interactive work.  Well worth the wait if you are heading out there over the weekend.

4.  Good to see some bro's over from NZ.  I spent about 6 months in Wellington on a deal back in 2011 so it was good to see some kiwi galleries over here in Sydney.  I've liked Reuben Paterson's work for a long time (he got 2 points back in Oct 11!) but was great to see some more of Greg Semu's photos.  I thought his maori style last supper was pretty awesome (as was Greg's moustache - stylin').

5.  Top work from some old favourites.  I need to go back as I can only really recall the booths of galleries I know.  I loved Sullivan & Strumpf's cosy stockroom, Galerie pompom's fun booth, Michael Reid's selection of artists, the folks at artereal, etc.

Points for art will come in a follow-up post.

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