Sydney adventure: art and architecture, design and dance
During the 50th anniversary of its most famous building, Sydney is truly having a moment. Sydney Opera House has undergone a decade-long renovation, and is now joined by a new architectural icon: Sydney Modern. Lockout restrictions that stifled Sydney’s nightlife for so long have come to an end, and the city is reinventing its late-night offerings. Hosting World Pride (February 17-March 5, 2023) indeed seals Sydney’s reputation as an LGBTQIA+ destination and as a city that takes culture, hospitality and partying seriously. Discover the city’s highlights, as selected by Elias Redstone, artistic director of Photo 2024 in Melbourne and Wallpaper’s Australia editor.
Sydney: what to see and do Sydney Modern
Aerial view of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ new SANAA-designed building
(Image credit: © Iwan Baan)
The stunning new Sydney Modern extension of the Art Gallery of New South Wales is the most significant new cultural project in Sydney since the Opera House opened in 1973. The standalone building by SANAA includes a 1,100 sq m column-free gallery and the Tank, a 2,200 sq m former World War II naval fuel bunker. New site-specific works have been commissioned by artists including Yayoi Kusama, Lisa Reihana and Francis Upritchard, while the landscape design by McGregor Coxall with Kathryn Gustafson includes over 8,000 sq m of green roof and landscaped areas planted with Australian native species.
artgallery.nsw.gov.au (opens in new tab)
(Image credit: Photography: Anson Smart)
To create the new Ace Hotel Sydney – the first in the southern hemisphere – the chain tapped some of Melbourne’s hottest design talent. Flack Studio designed the hotel, while Fiona Lynch Office commissioned the new rooftop restaurant Kiln. A trip to the rooftop is recommended for Lynch’s evocative design palette inspired by the Australian landscape, the menu by head chef Mitch Orr, and breathtaking views of downtown Sydney. ‘From the start, Ace wanted it to be an Australian take on what an Ace hotel could be – one that would reflect Australia’s culture, colors and design language,’ says Lynch.
kilnsydney.com (opens in new tab)
The National 4: New Australian Art
Work from the show by Shivajani Lal, Aise Aise Hai, 2021, on display at Goldsmiths, University of London
(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist)
The National is an ambitious biennial celebration of contemporary Australian art, launched as a collaboration across the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Carriageworks and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in 2017. The 2023 edition, which at the end opening from March, Campbelltown Arts Center welcomes to the party and features new work and commissions by 53 artists and collectives including Abdul Abdullah, Hoda Afshar, Brook Andrew, Brenda L Croft and Reko Rennie.
the-national.com.au (opens in new tab)
The Commercial Gallery in Sydney
(Image credit: Courtesy Sydney Opera House)
Since opening ten years ago in Redfern, The Commercial has built a strong reputation as a commercial gallery representing early and mid-career artists such as Archie Moore, Lillian O’Neil and Amanda Williams. In 2018, the gallery moved to a large industrial space in Marrickville and established itself as a destination in its own right. Starting March 18, 2023, stop by local artist Agatha Gothe-Snape’s upcoming exhibition ‘Creative Industry’, which engages with the materials, methods and languages of exploitation used in the creative industries. ‘For this new work I am using material at hand from the computer and in the office cupboard,’ says Gothe-Snape.
thecommercialgallery.com (opens in new tab)
The outdoor pool area at Oxford House in Sydney
(Image credit: Courtesy Oxford House)
Conceived as the first lifestyle hotel in the Paddington neighborhood, Oxford House takes its design cues from the muted colors of Palm Springs, but with local design elements such as Double Rainbouu custom bathrobes and Marc Newson crockery. The artwork is curated by designer and Ksubi co-founder George Garrow, with work by local and international artists including Lena Gustafson, Adam Turnbull and Niah McLeod, and the experience is rounded off with the vibey outdoor pool and bar.
A selection of starters at Pellegrino 2000
(Image credit: Courtesy Pellegrino)
In just over a year, the team behind Potts Point’s Bistrot 916 Pellegrino 2000 has established itself as a popular Surry Hills trattoria with an eclectic following. To complement the modern Italian food, the joyful brand identity was conceived by Sydney’s SCCO Studio as a tribute to the images of restaurants in Italy, with a color scheme inspired by AS Roma. Downstairs, a wine cellar doubles as an intimate candlelit dining room.
pellegrino2000.com (opens in new tab)
The Porter House Hotel
A street view of The Porter House Hotel in Sydney
(Image credit: Courtesy Porter House Hotel)
Sydney’s skyline has reached new heights with the addition of a new 37-storey mixed-use tower by Angelo Candalepas and Associates, the practice recently appointed to design NGV Contemporary in Melbourne. Composed of a geometric grid of arches and apse, the building features a 335 square meter abstract mural on one facade designed by Candalepas in collaboration with Colombian-born artist Maria Fernanda Cardoso. The Porter House Hotel, part of the MGallery group, spreads over the first ten floors of the new building and the adjacent heritage-listed Porter House building.
porterhousehotel.com.au (opens in new tab)
Dance at Sydney Opera House
(Image credit: Photography: Simon Eeles)
The dance sector is experiencing a revival in Australia with a new generation in charge, and it’s coming to the Sydney Opera House this autumn. Yuldea is the first work choreographed by Bangarra Dance Theatre’s new artistic director Frances Rings, with music by indigenous electronic music duo Electric Fields. Appearing as part of a double bill called ‘Identity’, THE HUM is a new dance theater work created by Daniel Riley of Australian Dance Theater (and notably the first Indigenous Artistic Director to lead a non-Indigenous dance company in Australia ) in collaboration with the Australian Ballet, now under the direction of ballet superstar David Hallberg.
sydneyoperahouse.com (opens in new tab)