Installation Contemporary:
SYdney Contemporary

Carriageworks, 10 – 13 September 2015
Curators: Holly Williams, Ivan Muñiz Reed, Glenn Barkley

About the exhibition:

The Curators’ Department has been appointed to curate the second edition of Installation Contemporary, an exhibition of large-scale, cutting-edge sculpture and innovative installation works positioned throughout the Sydney Contemporary art fair this spring.

Sydney Contemporary is Australasia's international art fair presenting over 90 leading galleries from around the Pacific Rim at Carriageworks. Launched in 2013, this biennial fair has an expanded footprint with seven exhibition spaces offering visitors access to art from some of the world's most respected established artists as well as the opportunity to discover new emerging artists.

Characterised by its towering heights and hidden corners, the evocative spaces of Carriageworks provide an ideal location for the immersive, interactive and site-specific artworks that form Installation Contemporary. Ranging from the minute to the monumental, this project brings together 18 engaging works by Australian and international artists. Driving it is an investigation into artists’ approach to materials and how, through the installation format, they are able to induce a broader sensory experience and transform the perception of self and space.

From the preeminent to the lesser-known, the diversity of participating artists provides an insight into a broad range of contemporary practices. Some works reflect installation’s preoccupation with materiality, such as Stephen Ralph’s striking cast concrete sculptures, Gunjan Aylawadi’s delicate construction of thousands of paper coils and Christine McMillan’s hand polished tonne of firewood. Others make a striking political comment on aspects of contemporary society, including the multimedia work Moving Target which explores identity and masculinity in Aboriginal youth, Glen Hayward’s fabricated office, Justine Khamara’s fractured portraits and Alex Seton’s pile of cast marble composite oars that addresses issues surrounding refugees in Australia.

Monumental works by Callum Morton and Gregor Kregar assert their presence through their scale whereas others are hidden and advocate for a sense of discovery or intimacy. For example, the elusive work by Mylyn Nguyen – a painstakingly rendered troop of insects that quietly inhabits a spot below the ground. Populating the airspace above the fair are Laith McGregor’s colourful anthropomorphic banners and Scott Eady’s Sole-healers, a project inspired by Redfern’s resilient business Roger Shoe Repairs, which consists of a pair of old shoes thrown over a roof truss coupled with a pithy-worded neon.

A number of artists directly intervene with the space or respond to architectural nuances. Helen Eager’s considered geometry animates a series of glass panels across the building and Brian Robinson and Ham Darroch respond with site-specific wall works. Also included are interactive pieces that require the participation of the audience such as Weather Maker by Caroline Rothwell and the collaborative new piece Conversation with Plants, which combines sculpture, ceramics and electronics to capture and amplify sounds made by nature.

Artists participating in Installation Contemporary are Tony Albert with Stephen Page, Gunjan Aylawadi, Vicky Browne with Simon Reece and Darren Seltmann, Ham Darroch, Scott Eady, Helen Eager, Glen Hayward, Gregor Kregar, Justine Khamara, Laith McGregor, Christine McMillan Callum Morton, Mylyn Nguyen, Stephen Ralph, Brian Robinson, Caroline Rothwell and Alex Seton.