Sydney Contemporary Art Fair is officially open to the public for its fifth year.
The fair is displaying art from over 95 galleries with new work from over 450 artists in 34 countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, South Africa and more.
First Nations artists are coming to the forefront more and more every year.
In 2019, galleries such as Melbourne’s Alcaston Gallery and Blackartprojects, Sydney’s Cooee Art and Utopia Art, as well as Black Square Arts from Cairns are on show.
Work from APY Gallery in Sydney will exhibit for the first time this year.
The exhibition displays work from Art Centres of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands in Central Australia.
Blackartsprojects artist, Robert Fielding is presenting work in the Fair.
“Getting here has been a long process of waiting and creating. The art is about how you see the past, the present and the future,” Mr Fielding said.
“It’s important that I, as an artist, am holding onto many stories of the past, the present and the future and showing these in a different way of storytelling, in contemporary art.”
This is second time Mr Fielding has displayed his artwork, Blackartsproject.
“I’m showcasing the diversity of my photography, using images of flower buckets, and objects of importance taken from significance places. They have written messages on them in language and panels of water tanks that are telling stories of everyday living in the past and the present,” Mr Fielding said.
“I’ve used a spear in the storytelling … showcasing the work of my grandfather, Sammy Dodd, and how important that it is for that type of work to live on and how important it is to work with the Elders.”
Fielding uses materials only available to him in his community to create his photographs.
Utilising fire, moonlight and materials, he has created a three-piece artwork which is on display at the Fair.
The artist has a strong philosophy driving his artistic process.
“Everything is connected through movement, the roots, the routes and routines. My artwork is about the past, present and future and how the roots, routes and routine make one. It shows the beauty that lives in the APY lands,” Mr Fielding said.
“To me how it’s about capturing the beauty and stillness of life. These objects, they’re about the lives they’ve lived, the Elders who have touched them, the marking on tin and whose space, place and area these objects come from and how you incorporate that when you bring it to life.”
Fielding hopes that the Fair will open opportunities to artists living within the APY lands to grow, expand and tell stories from their country.
“People who have the ability for storytelling, photography, singing and health should have the opportunity to showcase their art and their land,” Mr Fielding said.
“To speak on behalf of my people, behalf of myself, and behalf of APY collectives, our artwork has now been displayed from Adelaide to Sydney.”
“I have to acknowledge Blackartsproject for giving me the opportunity to showcase my best work with Contemporary Arts and there are many more that will show how important it is the APY artists get not only Australian, but world recognition in the arts.”
Fielding’s art is an expression of the journey he has taken throughout his own life and the lessons he has learnt.
“The best part about life is … learning how to move through life and [to] learn to appreciate the past, learn to appreciate the present and the future. We must sit and listen to life at its best and at its worst,” Mr Fielding said.
“It’s about respecting your roots of family and lineages and how one must say thank you.”
Last year, $10 million of the sales went directly back to the artists – empowering those artists displaying work to continue creating and boosting the arts economy.
Sydney Contemporary is presented by Deutsche Bank and this year partners with Samsung Electronics. The fair will be open to the public between the 12th and 15th of September at Carriageworks Art Institute in Redfern Sydney.
By Rachael Knowles