Sydney Contemporay, Australia’s largest and most prestigious art show filled the cavernous warehouse spaces at Carriageworks in Sydney’s Redfern this month with colour, energy and an explosion of thought-provoking inspiration. With so many artists showing this year, we round up ten of our favourite artists and their works in two parts. This week we focus on five…stay tuned for our following five this time next week.
We’re loving the smaller scale of Sydney-based artist Coen Young’s Study for a Mirror I and 2, which makes his magical work so much more accessible. There’s something about marble dust and silver nitrate applied to paper that not only sounds romantic but also other-worldly, light and ephemeral — a reflection of the shimmery, viscous beauty of the works themselves. Kronenberg Wright Artists Projects.
For us, the star of award-winning Newcastle artist James Drinkwater’s I love you to pieces then back together again show was his new work, Girl Walking On Piano Keys 2019. Hung against a glorious backdrop of Dulux Pompeian Pink the colour-fuelled oil and enamel painting exudes energy and optimism, drama and vibrancy — not too unlike the young artist himself. Nanda\Hobbs
The paintings of Clara Adolphs are imbued with the kind of nostalgia and romance reminiscent of old photographs. That’s because the Southern Highlands based artist is a collector of vintage prints, which she uses as inspiration for works that celebrate the “universality of small moments”. Her new works, such as The Sea, Jump and Double Swimmers focus on the feeling of water. Edwina Corlette Gallery
We’re suckers for a bit of sparkle so William Mackinnon’s glittering paintings are right up our street. He’s described his early work as having a “subtle Australian-Gothic” sensibility. His latest paintings however seem to take inspiration from his new home on the Spanish island of Ibiza, and recent adventures to Los Angeles and Palm Springs where he travelled to soak up the heady cocktail of modernist architecture, glittering swimming pools, swaying palms and the expanse of twinkling evening lights. Jan Murphy Gallery
Nell is one of those artists whose work radiates a pure hands-in-the-air kind of rock’n’roll fun. A practising buddhist, the Maitland-born, Sydney-based artist revels in the allure of duality. One of her better-known works, Let there be robe, is an AC/DC themed Buddhist robe made from drumsticks. Music informs much of Nell’s newer works too — including a quirky Casper the friendly ghost style figure as a glass sculpture perched atop an amplifier plinth. Rock on. Station
Watch out this time next week for our further favourite five which make our top ten for this years Sydney Contemporary,