The four-day, annual art fair Sydney Contemporary 2020 was due to run this September at Carriageworks in Sydney – which it has done since foundation in 2013 – but back in May was announced as cancelled, during the first wave of COVID-19 in Australia.
Nevertheless, behind the scenes the internal team and advisory council have been working away at a completely different show that launches today, October 1st 2020.
This year, Sydney Contemporary presents 2020 introduces itself as a whole new, month-long digital showcase spanning the 1-31st October. A custom-made platform has been designed to support the arts community and highlight/ explore/ emphasize issues created or brought to light as a result of the global pandemic.
“2020 has been an extraordinary year on many levels. We believe it is important – now more than ever – to support artists and the arts community and have created this new digital initiative specifically to do so. Whilst we are disappointed not to hold a physical fair this year, we believe Sydney Contemporary Presents 2020 will give people a positive takeaway from what has been a challenging year,” said Tim Etchells, Founder of Sydney Contemporary.
A unique and highly responsive digital experience has been designed to encourage participants on a journey of discovery to find the perfect artwork out of a pool of more than 450 new artworks from 380 local and international artists to be showcased. Many pieces were created during – and in response to – COVID-19 and new artworks will be added each week for the duration of the month-long digital art fair.
The mediums represented span painting, drawing, photography, video, mixed-media, virtual reality and sculpture. Selected artist highlights include:
- New works by leading Australian artists Brook Andrew, Andrew Browne, Amos Gebhardt and Ben Quilty presented by Tolarno Galleries;
- Five New Zealand artists presented by PAULNACHE, two of whom – Matthew Couper and JK Russ – are based in Las Vegas, USA;
- Works created during lockdown by Indigenous artist John Prince Siddon at EG Projects X Mangkala Arts ; and
- An all-female line-up at Sydney-based Sarah Cottier Gallery including works by Julie Fragar, Sarah Mosca, Elizabeth Pulie and Jelena Telecki.
“Sydney Contemporary represents the largest concentration of art sales each year, so without the physical fair this year, the organisation wanted to do something that would stimulate sales and support artists and their galleries,” added Barry Keldoulis, Fair Director of Sydney Contemporary.
“Our custom-made platform creates a place for seasoned collectors and emerging art lovers alike to explore and buy new work by exciting contemporary artists. We encourage people to support the visual arts community in the most direct way possible – by purchasing the work of artists. It is a chance to acquire not just an artwork but a memory, something to look upon that was created during this unforgettable year.”
Sydney Contemporary 2020 has been challenged this year as have many other events and activations in the art, design and architecture space. With strict adherence to regulations, guidelines and government advice, the team has persevered with the annual art fair even in a completely new, innovative and disruptive format.
Sydney Contemporary 2020
Cover image: Byrne,Love in a Time of Corona at Gallerysmith