This week’s arts news you may have missed

What's on, what's in the headlines, and the latest program releases – to put you ahead of the game this week.

We’ve recapped the hottest headlines, announcements and arts news that shaped the zeitgeist this past week.

Our top news stories this week

Our top career stories this week

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Be in the know
Quick Diary Dates
What’s on
Review highlights

Be in the know

POWERHOUSE SHORTLIST: Five leading Australian design teams have been shortlisted to participate in the Design Competition to renew Powerhouse Ultimo. They are:

  • Architectus, Durbach Block Jaggers Architects, Tyrrell Studio, Youssofzay + Hart, Akira Isogawa and Yerrabingin submitting under the working title SPARK
  • BVN and Oculus with OCP Architects, TTW, Eckersley O’Callaghan, Transsolar Klima Engineering
  • Cox Architecture, Neeson Murcutt Neille, Other Architects, Hector Abrahams Architects, Sue Barnsley Design and Arup
  • John Wardle Architects, Billy Maynard, ASPECT Studios, Bangawarra, Eckersley O’Callaghan, Atelier Ten and Urbis
  • Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects, JMD Design, TCL, Sibling Architecture, Freeman Ryan Design, Atelier Ten.

LAYING OUT THE CARPET: As part of the Geelong Arts Centre redevelopment, the largest manufacturer of carpets in Australasia, Godfrey Hirst, has worked in consultation with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners to create unique designs for the centre, inspired by First Peoples themes. They will supply 2000 square metres of carpet. The new centre will open in 2023.

SPORTS STADIUM TO ARTS CENTRE: A former Torquay sports stadium has been redeveloped into a thriving creative hub – the new Multi Arts Centre (MAC) – thanks to a $240,000 investment from the Labor Government. The dedicated arts facility will provide a space for local artists and performers to create, collaborate and showcase their work.

WIN FOR KIDS: HOTA, Home of the Arts has been announced as the recipient of the Innovator Award at the Performing Arts Connections (PAC) Australia Impact Awards 2022, for its ArtKeeper Program.

PRIZE MONEY BOOSTED: The NSW Government has announced an increase of $40,000 in funding for the Multicultural NSW Award and the Indigenous Prize, alongside the opening of entries for the 2023 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

From this year, the Multicultural NSW Award will be boosted to $30,000, and the $30,000 Indigenous Prize will be offered annually, instead of biennially. Entries close 10 October.

Quick diary dates

  • What could be described as a mini-festival, the newly renovated Bondi Pavilion is throwing the biggest arty beach party to celebrate its reopening on 22 September, 2022.
  • Antidote – the Sydney Opera House’s sixth annual festival of ideas, art and change – is taking place on site and online this Sunday 11 September. It’s not too late to book or listen to one of the 17 conversations and panels.
  • The Art Gallery of South Australia’s popular Tarnanthi Art Fair returns as an online event from 14 -17 October 2022.

Festival updates

Sydney Craft Week Festival 2022 which runs from Friday 7 – Sunday 16 October, launched its program this week. It includes 180+ events, 80+ workshops and 38+ exhibitions across 45 suburbs. Sydney Craft Week Festival Director Lisa Cahill said: ‘This year’s festival focus is the climate emergency … and how through sustainable making we can make a difference.’

Runaway Festival Park is a sensational pop-up site. Partnering with Runaway Collective, Testing Grounds and Queen Victoria Market it will bring an inclusive and spirited festival vibe to an iconic Melbourne location from 6 – 30 October. Showcasing the very best of high-quality cabaret, circus (such as the award-winning Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett), there’s literally something for everyone, whether you’re accommodating the entertainment needs of a toddler, a tween, a teen, an adult or a centenarian.

Festival of Dangerous Ideas is near upon us, presented 18 – 19 September for its 11th edition, and exploring the theme ‘All Consuming’. Its characteristically unfiltered and forward-reaching line-up will ask audiences to consider what we consume, what we are consumed by, and what should (or could) come to consume us. Plan your visit.

Taking place from 20 October 20 – 6 November, OzAsia Festival presents an exciting line-up of theatre, dance, music, visual arts, literature, film, food and cultural events from across Asia and Australia. Returning for its second year, Moon Lantern Trail is calling for artists right now.

St Kilda Festival is set to welcome back the big crowds and summer celebrations in a return to its traditional format in 2023. The 42nd edition will take place as a two-day program shifting to a new dates: Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 February, 2023.

Quantum Words Perth 2022 kicks off next Friday 16 September. Dark Emu author Bruce Pascoe and former NSW Fire Commissioner Greg Mullins will join more than 40 other writers and thinkers to unpack some of life’s biggest and most fascinating questions. The second ever Quantum Words Perth Festival is staged across multiple city venues 16 – 18 September.

Review highlights

Exhibition Review: Deborah Prior: On The Third Day ★★★★1/2☆
Personal and political crises are woven together in Deborah Prior’s powerful new textile exhibition.

Musical review: Come From Away ★★★★1/2☆
The hit musical returns to Melbourne for a victory lap.

Book review: New Australian Fiction 2022, edited by Suzy Garcia ★★★1/2☆☆
A diverse yet cohesive short story collection.

Theatre review: Holding Achilles ★★★☆☆
A mixed bag of visual, physical and dramatic theatre that loses its way in the telling.

Head to our Reviews page for more.

What’s on

TOPICAL TALKS: The Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) is celebrating its 50th anniversary with the launch of the VCA Director’s Dialogue Series, a suite of four public forums led by new Director of the VCA Professor Emma Redding. Included are topics such as Arts and Wellbeing.

GOLD COAST MODERN: Modern Beloved, a new exhibition by artist Rosi Griffin, which explores the Gold Coast’s architectural history, will open at the Tweed Regional Gallery on Friday 23 September through to 27 November. The body of work documents the suburban development of the 1950s and ‘60s and the mid-century modern buildings dotted along the Gold Coast.

Paula Mahoney. Together in the valley with the shadow of death 2022. Finalist, Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award 2022; © Image courtesy of the artist

PHOTOGRPAHY ON THE GOLD COAST: Contemporary cultural precinct HOTA, Home of the Arts announced the 40 finalist works for the 20th anniversary of the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, one of Australia’s most significant awards for contemporary photographic practice.

The Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award provides a national platform for emerging and established artists. It is the richest prize for photography in Queensland at $25,000 (acquisitive) and it received over 260 submissions this year. Showing 17 September – 8 January, 2023.

SPY THEATRE: Written by Hugh Whitemore and directed by Gordon Park, Pack of Lies is based on the true story of the most significant spy operation in 1960s Cold War-era London, dubbed ‘The Portland Spy Ring’. Pack of Lies was first performed in 1983, starring Judi Dench, who won a Best Actress Laurence Olivier Award for her role. Limelight Theatre brings the stellar production back from 15 September – 1 October. Tickets and information.

FRINGE PICK: Riley Nottingham (creator and star of the Nine Network’s hit show Metro Sexual) presents his debut show MANIFESTO at Melbourne Fringe Hub from 6 October (8 shows), and Brisbane Fringe from 3 November (five Shows). A whimsical mix of music and comedy about unlikely friendships, dopamine addiction and true love, MANIFESTO has its world premiere at Sydney Fringe, 13 – 19 September.

SOULFUL PAIRING: Soulful vocals meet soaring strings when award-winning First Nations performer Emily Wurramara shares the stage with Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra. Singing in English and her Peoples’ language, Anindilyakwa, Emily will perform her original songs enriched by the powerful string sounds of Camerata. 6 October at Q Theatre, Penrith.

VISIT THE MOON: Leading entertainment discovery platform Fever announces the return of NEIGHBOURHOOD EARTH, an out-of-this-world immersive and interactive space exploration experience, opening 10 September  – 1 October, Melbourne Emporium.

MUSIC + VISUAL ARTS: American avant-garde composer John Cage (1912 – 1992) was one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. The Cageworks exhibition at Canberra Contemporary Art Space explores some of his output in the form of visual arts by Canberra and interstate artists, including a large-scale wall painting by Ham Darroch, an interactive, technology-based work by Nicci Haynes, ‘silent sculptures’ by Kensuke Todo, and chance-based drawing installations by Kate Vassallo, alongside visual notations and The Decibel Complete John Cage Variations ScorePlayer by Decibel New Music Ensemble. Opens 9 September.

SOUND COMMISSIONS: The next generation of creative talent on the big screen will be unlocked as part of the City of Melbourne’s SIGNAL. The creative studio for young people will launch its latest Screen and Sound Commissions with 12 new artworks made by eight emerging artists developing new digital and online works alongside industry professionals. For more information on the program, visit the SIGNAL website. Select works will also be featured nightly at SIGNAL from 10 September to 8 October, 6pm – 10pm. 

ANNIVERSARY: Dominik Mersch Gallery celebrates its 15-year anniversary with a landmark survey exhibition of the Belgium-born, Mexico-based artist Francis Alÿs, with exceptional works from the private collections of John Kaldor AO and Naomi Milgrom AC.

TASSIE WOMEN ARTISTS: For two decades, Tasmania’s only women’s art prize has been shining the spotlight on the creativity, passion and vision of the island state’s women artists. In this, the 20th anniversary of the Prize, RANT Arts and Devonport Regional Gallery are proud to present the 2022 Women’s Art Prize Tasmania. 6 August – 17 September 2022

DIALOGUE WITH CHINA: Juxtaposing ancient Chinese masterpieces alongside compelling works of contemporary art and design, China – The past is present will feature more than 120 works drawn primarily from the NGV’s historical and contemporary collection across mediums from lacquer ware to video. 15 October 2022 – 20 February, 2023.

Justene Williams, Victory over the Sun (The Traveller), 2016, National Gallery of Australia, Kamberri/Canberra, purchased 2021 © Justene Williams. Image courtesy of the artist and Sarah Cottier Gallery, Gadigal Nura/Sydney

RARE PERFORMANCE: This October, artist Justene Williams, with Sydney Chamber Opera and the Australian National University Chamber Singers presents the wildly irreverent ‘anti-opera’ Victory over the Sun. The visionary work will be presented as part of the National Gallery of Australia’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

Commissioned by the 20th Biennale of Sydney and hailed by Time Out as ‘one of – if not the best things at the Biennale’, the work debuted to sold-out houses in 2016. The performance includes 38 costumes designed by Williams which have recently been acquired by the National Gallery. For two nights only, on 14 and 15 October.

UP CLOSE WITH SHARKS: The Australian Museum’s new exhibition Sharks allows visitors to explore the diversity of these ancient predators with 11 life-sized shark models, interactive experiences and specimens in a safe environment. Sharks opens to the public on Saturday 24 September and runs through to 31 January, 2023. Ticketed.

CONSIDERING WATER: Blacktown Arts presents a new exhibition of works by Joel Bray, Amala Groom and Taree Sansbury – Myths & Legends, Water Woman. Friday 9 September to Saturday 8 October. More info.

CELEBRATING LOCALS: Quintet, a new exhibition at Hazelhurst Arts Centre, features five solo exhibitions by leading southern Sydney contemporary artists Lee Bethel, Matt Bromhead, Christine Druitt Preston, Nicole Kelly and Kerry Toomey. 10 September – Sunday 13 November.

Want more? Visit our Event page.

Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina