Art & Design

Art Beat | All The Art Shows You Need To See In February

By Emma O'Neill - 11 Feb 2019

Sydney's Best Exhibitions February | Urban List

To keep you across our city’s tastiest visual treats, we give you Art Beat—a series all about Sydney's best exhibitions and art shows (and all the feels that only great art can give, of course). Some people might say art isn’t for everyone, but we disagree. There are no rules, and what you like is totally your own—whether it's pottery, pop-art or Bey and Jay going apeshit in the Louvre.

From a jeweller turned sculptor, to one of Australia's greatest painters and an art dinner by the sea—February does pack a punch with art. 

So here you go. We give you a taste of all the arty sights, shows and exhibitions you should be seeing this month.


Opening on 13th February, Holly Ryan’s Exhale at Jerico Contemporary promises to be as gentle as the exhibition title suggests. Though her expert craftsmanship has always elevated her eponymous line of jewellery to art, it was sculpting her own mannequins for fashion week that marked a new path. A year after her premiere exhibition, the artist returns again with tender sculptural forms rendered from Hebel and an impulse to create. Here, Ryan marries historical references of European abstract art with Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese aesthetic of imperfection, to carve slow dancing bodily forms and faces that gaze with a sweet intensity.

What: Exhale
When: 13 February - 9 March 2019
Where: Jerico Contemporary

Arthur Boyd: Landscape Of The Soul

This year marks a decade since Arthur Boyd’s death, yet his latest showing at NAS is testament to his lasting relevance. Born in 1920, Boyd was brought up in a family of artists and eventually became renowned for his vivid, lyrical depictions of the Australian landscape. Even during his long stints in the UK and elsewhere in Europe, the memories of home remained at the heart of his work, even despite the trend towards abstraction at the time.

Supported by the BundanonTrust Collection, this touring exhibition begins its journey in Sydney and reflects Boyd’s illustrious career—from his joyous plein eir subjects to his final home in Shoalhaven on the south coast of NSW. 

What: Arthur Boyd: Landscape of the Soul
When: Until 9 March 2019
Where: National Art School

Arthur Boyd, Nebuchadnezzar being struck by lightning, 1968-69.

"Nevertheless, She Persisted" Panel Discussion

Warm up to women’s day in March with a talk on equality. To coincide with their current showing of a group exhibition Nevertheless, she persisted, Artereal Gallery will engage with the problems of gender representation in the arts world. Called "Tips on Persisting", the panel is made up of an all-female cast of powerhouses: artist Leila El Rayes; VAULT magazine Editor-at-Large, Neha Kale; Curator at the MCA, Clothilde Bullen; founder of COUNTess, Elvis Richardson; Councillor and Curator of City of Sydney, Jess Scully; and Author, artist and women’s rights activist, Sara Dowse.

Not only will the panel hash out where these issues occur, but more importantly how we can address them on all sides of the commercial gallery game. Richardson of COUNTess, has all of the actual stats on the problems of gender representation in the arts after years of keeping count, while Kale and Bullen will speak to the representation both in magazines and in the museums. It’s going to be strong, so skip the double shot coffee that Saturday.

If you miss out on the talk, there’ll still time to catch the exhibition, which is on show until 2nd March and features the work of Grace Blake, Sabella D’Souza, Leila El Rayes, Brooke Leigh, Eugenia Lim, Cat Mueller, Claudia Nicholson, Ebony Russell, Georgia Saxelby and Naomi Segal.

What: Nevertheless, She Persisted panel discussion
When: 3PM, Saturday 23 February. Exhibition continues until 2 March 2019
Where: Artereal Gallery


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Last Days Of Summer Art Dinner

We’re used to wine pairing, but have you ever experienced art pairing? On February 28th, two-hatted chef, Giovanni Pilu presents an event that also wears two hats. To go with Pilu’s signature Sardinian seafood, leading Australian fashion photographer Julie Adams presents a suite of 10 personal photographs depicting the Australian coastline.

Though better known for her editorial shoots for VOGUE and Harpers Bazaar, Adams turns her lens to moments in her private life. “This very personal collection of ten works is a reflection of my own connection with the coast, the ocean and our beachside home,” she says. “The idea of bringing an Italian menu inspired by our beautiful coastline together with an exhibition celebrating our quintessential Australian summer felt like an ideal combination, authentic to both Giovanni and myself.”


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Though celebrations of summer usually start to cool as the weather does, Last Days of Summer cooks up nostalgia for the season before it’s even over. A few menu faves include oysters (of course), a salad blue swimmer crab with white peaches, verjus jelly, almonds and mint, roasted lobster, and a liquorice and lemon sorbet to polish it all off. All of this, with a view of the actual ocean on the last light of summer, of course. Book in here before everyone else does.

What: Last Days of Summer art dinner
When: 6:30PM Thursday 28 February 2019
Where: Pilu at Freshwater

After more art? Check out photographer George Byrne's images of LA's candy-coloured suburban sublime

Image credit: Ebony Russell, Piped Dream - Pink Tiara (Nothing Breaks Like a Heart), 2019.

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