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Carriage Art Works: Contemporary Art From The City Fringe January 16-24

carriageartworks Carriage Art Works: Contemporary Art From The City Fringe January 16 24 It’s pretty easy to convince me to attend most events that involve ‘free’ somewhere in the description. I am fairly convinced that I would watch someone procure a ham sandwich from an obscure orifice at such an event and be consoled that I paid no money for this experience. In fact, I would most likely derive joy from this sort of peculiar diversion.

However having said that I think the Inaugural CarriageARTworks Contemporary Art Exhibition that is at CarriageWorks until Saturday, 24th of January, is an event well worth paying for. It is then all the more glorious that it is free. I saw no ham sandwich antics, but I did have the opportunity to watch a performance artist hurl raw meat out of a giant coffee sack as he writhed around the floor in it. He later emerged covered in crimson paint and proceeded to set bursts of spray paint on fire. When he experienced technical difficulties with his candle lighter and spray paint he stormed out of the venue. Reluctant clapping followed. I can only guess that this display was a metaphor of sorts for birth/life, but I feel it failed to make an essential connection with the mostly bewildered onlookers.

Admittedly I thought the visual art was far superior to the offerings of the two performance artists of the evening and it is what makes the event well worth attending. The exhibition features art of new and emerging artists from Sydney’s South West city fringe galleries. There are 13 galleries and over forty artists’ works”all under one roof.

image by oreally gallery Carriage Art Works: Contemporary Art From The City Fringe January 16 24 Some notable works were the pieces from Newtown’s Oh Really! Gallery & Collective. The artists created their mixed media works on found objects”with the idea of using things that could have been procured in a train repair depot like CarriageWorks. Many of the pieces from Oh Really! are vibrant, with elements of pop street/graffiti and stencil art. The featured artists are Max Berry, John Doe, Ears and Syke.

In addition the mixed media works of Andrew Purvis and Shannon Johnson of Sheffer Gallery were among my favourites of the evening.

Kate Mackay’s multi-coloured creations formed a centrepiece to the vibrant opening. Mackay’s ottoman size crafty cubes where meticulously crafted. Some where crocheted, while others appeared to be hand folded paper boxes joined together. These surrounded the stage where author and journalist David Marr opened the event and encouraged people to buy art. He made the poignant observation that‘In the end an era is only remembered by its artists.’ All the artwork at the event is for sale and those present opening day were able to attend a talk on how to buy contemporary art.

ng art gallery Carriage Art Works: Contemporary Art From The City Fringe January 16 24 Other highlights included the sculptural pieces from Chippendale’s NG Art Gallery. Artist Jane Gillings’s nostalgic Australian backyard scene Remember This, is complete with birds, grass and a Hills Hoist. Other featured artists included Mia Long, Lizzie Buckmaster Dove and Alison Coates. Mia Long’s surreal Papier Mache sculptures in her work Dag Girl are suspended from the ceiling and almost look like alien babies. These multi-eyed vibrant infants hover above a giant Papier Mache multi-coloured dog. The whole piece, which appears to have an Asian/Indian influence, is meant to examine cultural, social and religious mores.

For the remaining days of the exhibition CarriageWorks is open Monday-Saturday from 12-8pm and on Sunday from 4-8pm. Upcoming events include: Meet the Artists and Gallerists an exhibition walk and tour on Thursday, 22 January from 6-7pm, and a Panel Discussion on Art In The Public Domain on Saturday, 24 January from 4-6pm. For more information on this exhibition or any other upcoming events log on to

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