Sydney Contemporary returns to Barangaroo

Callum Morton's Monument 32- Helter Shelter 2018 - photo by Daniel BoudSydney Contemporary returns to Barangaroo for a second year with three leading Australian artists, Callum Morton, Mel O’Callaghan and Cameron Robbins, creating large-scale, site-specific works that will sit throughout the precinct in September.

“It is great to be partnering with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority and these three great artists,” said Sydney Contemporary Fair Director, Barry Keldoulis. “Barangaroo is developing a reputation for supporting artists to make work in a way few others do: the creation of public temporary, large scale installations. The three artists are chosen for their capacity to make work that engages the viewer in intriguing and innovative ways.

Callum Morton – Monument #32: Helter Shelter
Callum Morton has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1990. Morton’s art explores the personal and social impact of architecture and our built environment. From early drawings of fires and explosions on housing commission flats, to bullet -holed screens, awnings and monuments that memorialise capitalism and outdated forms of modernity, Morton’s works present a melancholic urban archaeology.

He salvages fragments and alters them through camouflage, destruction, the overlaying of sound, and changes of scale, location and material. The highly ambivalent objects that result make us think about the relationship between art and life, history and the present, and look again at the ubiquitous structures we see but rarely notice.

Monument #32: Helter Shelter is a piece of temporary minor architecture, akin in scale to a bus shelter or a parade float. Half of the shelter bears the unmistakable characteristics of Donald Trump rising out of the ground and the other half forms a space for seating and cover from the weather.

Mel O’Callaghan – Breath Repertoire, 2018
Mel O’Callaghan was born in Sydney, Australia and now lives and works in Paris, France. O’Callaghan is a contemporary artist who often transforms assemblages of gestures, objects and environments into poetic and ritualistic embodiments using sculpture, film, performance and installation to explore the ingrained sets of individual and collective practices, psychologies and motivations that characterise aspects of the human condition. Repetitive and even forceful physical action may be seen as a virtuous struggle towards a threshold in order to transcend physical and psychological limitations.

For Sydney Contemporary, O’Callaghan activates the public forum at Exchange Place, Barangaroo. Bold, graphic and monumental lines will intersect across the forum pavement of the Barangaroo site, in a coordinated composition — at once a language and musical score guiding the body through an intensive breathwork performance. The ritualistic movement directed by the lines and arcs of the floor transform both the presence of performers and the public within the Barangaroo space.

Considering the rich history and contemporary significance of the Barangaroo site,O’Callaghan asks how a poetry of the body in highly urbanised space might play out, informed by the primal breath as an elemental form of knowledge and knowing.

Cameron Robbins – Remote Sensor, 2018
Cameron Robbins works to make tangible the underlying structures and rhythms of natural forces. Using his wind-powered drawing instruments on site, Robbins’ installation transcribes the invisible energies of nature, the wind, and light to create drawings, photographs, and moving image works along the foreshore of Barangaroo.

Cameron Robbins has a studio- and travel-based practice, making installations and exhibitions in art centres and other sites in Australia and around the world. In 2016, Robbins presented at Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Tasmania – the first solo exhibition by an Australian artist at MONA. Occupying nine galleries within, and installations outside the Museum, Robbins’ exhibition Field Lines sampled the span of his drawing practice, alongside sound and video work, photography, installation and sculpture.

Robbins has recently completed a major permanent work at MONA, Wind Section Instrumental, a 50-year wind drawing project installed in and outside of the Roy Grounds library. Robbins lives and works in Castlemaine, Australia. He is represented by MARS Gallery in Melbourne, and Stockroom in Kyneton, Victoria.

“Partnerships with local Sydney events such as Sydney Contemporary are key to achieving our ambition to deliver a contemporary program that is diverse and dynamic at Barangaroo,” said Barangaroo Delivery Authority Executive Director of Activation and Precinct Management, Sandra Bender.

“It is through these collaborations with internationally established Australian contemporary artists that we are able to create a space to inspire, intrigue and even challenge our visitors during a period of growth and constant change onsite.”

The installation works at Barangaroo will be open to the public until 24 September 2018. For more information, visit: or for details.

Image: Callum Morton, Monument #32- Helter Shelter, 2018 – photo by Daniel Boud