Art fair and Barangaroo Authority announce three major art commissions

Visual Arts Writer

Sydney Contemporary has partnered with Barangaroo Delivery Authority to deliver three major site-specific commissioned art works this August.
Art fair and Barangaroo Authority announce three major art commissions

Sisyphus. 2017. Callum Morton, Installation. Part of European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017, KUNSTCENTRET SILKEBORG BAD / ART CENTRE SILKEBORG BAD, DENMARK, Courtesy of Roslyn Oxley Gallery and the artist

Art fairs continue to morph and change to stay competitive in a growing market. This is often through curated components, lecture series, film screening and major installations on site. In the latest set of changes, Sydney Contemporary has just announced three new commissions in a partnership with Barangaroo Delivery Authority, which will extend the fair off-site.


Callum Morton, Mel O’Callaghan and Cameron Robbins have been named to create large-scale, site-specific works that will sit throughout Barangaroo’s financial, retail and dining precinct in the lead up and during the fair from the 20 August – 24 September.

Sydney Contemporary Fair Director, Barry Keldoulis said: ‘Barangaroo is developing a reputation for supporting artists to make work in a way few others do: the creation of public temporary, large scale installations. The three artists are chosen for their capacity to make work that engages the viewer in intriguing and innovative ways.’ 

Barangaroo Delivery Authority Executive Director of Activation and Precinct Management, Sandra Bender, said: ‘Partnerships with local Sydney events such as Sydney Contemporary are key to achieving our ambition to deliver a contemporary program that is diverse and dynamic at Barangaroo.  

‘It is through these collaborations with internationally established Australian contemporary artists that we are able to create a space to inspire, intrigue and even challenge our visitors during a period of growth and constant change onsite,’ she continued.

The initiative falls under the Barangaroo Public Art and Cultural Plan, which covers 11 hectares of public domain and represents one of Australia’s largest suites of public art and cultural activity.

The Plan outlines nine priority public art and cultural programs for delivery by 2020, leading to a series of cultural activities and civic events – including these Sydney Contemporary commissions.  The partnership was initiated last year with artists Lara Merrett, Jason Phu, Justene Williams and artist in residence Joan Ross creating off-site public artworks for Sydney Contemporary 2017.

This year’s commissions

Callum Morton’s practice is inspired by architecture and human interaction with designed spaces and facades. For this project, he will be creating a Shelter that will protrude from the pavement creating a resting place for the passers-by.

Sydney born O’Callaghan now lives and works in Paris, France. Working across film, video, performance, painting and installation, she will present a new large scale floor installation and movement-based performance at Barangaroo. 

Bold, graphic and monumental lines will intersect across the pavement in a coordinated composition a kind of musical score that will guide viewers through an intensive “breathework” performance.

Melbourne artist, Cameron Robbins will use wind-powered drawing instruments at the Barangaroo site, which will transcribe the invisible energies of nature, the wind, the tides and light to create drawings, photographs, and moving image works along the foreshore.

Returning for its fourth edition, Sydney Contemporary is now an annual event. The curators of the individual elements of Sydney Contemporary were recently announced: Artistic Director and CEO at Performance Space, Jeff Kahn together with Program Manager Tulleah Pearce for the show-stopping Performance Contemporary program; Kelly Gellatly, Director at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne will curate moving-image art for Video Contemporary, and Installation Contemporary will be curated by independent curator and writer, Nina Miall. 

Sydney Contemporary 2018 runs from Thursday 13 until Sunday 16 September at Carriageworks.  

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