By Katie Mayor
It’s probably unsurprising that the city’s creative folk spill out into the urban neighbourhoods that border the CBD, and when it comes to the vibrant worlds of art and theatre, the Inner East – or ‘Eastside Sydney’ as we like to call it – plays host to more than its fair share of venues and shows. Here Wild Spin of the World blogger and Bondi Beach Radio host Katie Mayor highlights some of the best.
Sydney East Art Walks
The galleries and art spaces of Eastside Sydney have combined their artistic flair and eclectic exhibition prowess into a ‘best of’ art tour of Eastside including Surry Hills, Kings Cross, Potts Point, Woolloomooloo, and Darlinghurst. Four to five times per year, a group of up to 18 local galleries and institutions, including the sandstone architectural gem National Art School (NAS) Gallery which also has workshops and a lively event program, Stanley Street Gallery (who also have a cracker exhibition on now called Hitters, Grapplers and Strongmen), Artspace, Firstdraft and Australian Design Centre to name a few, open their doors for an immersive art experience through the neighbourhood. Their March art walk is officially part of Art Month and is called the East Sydney Precinct Night.
Biennale comes to Woolloomooloo
Biennale is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated cultural events on the Sydney calendar, and this year the festival will be heading to Woolloomooloo, where it will be exhibiting at Artspace under the Biennale theme of Superposition: Equilibrium and Engagement. Artspace, housed in the iconic Gunnery building on the Cowper Wharf Roadway, will be presenting a major work by one of the world’s biggest names in art, dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. His work Crystal Ball is aimed at provoking onlookers to focus on the current humanitarian crisis.
Alongside the work of Weiwei will be a host of other artists, including a video project from Michael Borremans of Belgium, a large fresco by Indian painter Tanya Goel, as well as pieces by Vietnamese artist Tiffany Chung and China’s Geng Xue. The nearby Art Gallery of NSW is also worth a wander, as it will be housing a 45 year retrospective of the festival, in the BIennale Archive.
When the sun sets over the city, Eastside is where the theatre scene lights up the stages of Sydney. Darlinghurst and Kings Cross play host to some of the most vibrant playhouses in the city. The award-winning historical building of the Eternity Playhouse on Burton Street is home to Darlinghurst Theatre Company, whose National Play Festival is in full swing this March. In the belly of World Bar in Kings Cross lies Blood Moon Theatre, responsible for the highly acclaimed Hidden Sydney and Kings Bloody Cross. Add to that local favourites like Belvoir in Surry Hills, Griffin Theatre Company in Darlinghurst, and Bakehouse Theatre Company in Kings Cross and it’s easy to see why this area is now considered a lively theatre precinct.