Byron Shire welcomes four-day festival of contemporary art

Art Byron’s annual 2022 event, ‘Love or Fear’ features three main exhibitions curated by artist Karla Dickens (Wiradjuri).

Words: Nabila Chemaissem

Emerging after two years of pandemic-related postponements, Byron Shire welcomes a four-day festival of contemporary art, courtesy of Art Byron. The event will run from 30 September to 3 October.

2022’s annual event, Love or Fear features a host of local and national artists, exhibitions, gallery talks, music, film, a multi-media installation and an art dinner.

The three main exhibitions have all been curated by artist Karla Dickens (Wiradjuri). Dickens, who witnessed first-hand the March flood events that impacted Bundjalung Country around Lismore, was also the subject of Blak Douglas’ 2022’s Archibald prize winning portrait, in which she was painted standing defiantly amidst the flood waters.

“As a First Nation woman, artist, storyteller and environmentalist active at this time on the planet, I am striving to be part of the solution,” said Dickens. “Love, understanding and art are more comforting and important than ever before.”

Byron School of Art (BSA) will present an exhibition comprising of neon and sculptural works by Hiromi Tango, in tandem with Michael Donnelly who has created a series depicting the effects of the March floods. The works of Polly Borland, Zion Levy Stewart, Stephen Bird, and Selena Murray will also be featured. This exhibition will open on 29 September.

At the Byron arts industrial estate, THOM Gallery will host an exhibition opening on 30 September at 4pm at the gallery’s Fern Place space.

The Sand and Water exhibition, featuring local Bundjalung artists, Michael Philip, Garth Lena, and Beki Davies, will open on 1 October at 2pm at Yeah, Nice gallery’s warehouse space in Byron Bay’s St Agni precinct.

Internationally regarded artist and local resident, Lisa Sorgini, will also be creating photographic portraits of the artists who contribute to Art Byron.

“Uncertainty was our new personal and collective ground,” said Dickens. “Art Byron will provide the opportunity for visitors to experience the depth of the northern rivers art scene and see the calibre of artists working across our region.”

Love or Fear’s exhibitions are open to the public by a gold coin donation.

This article was posted 28 September 2022.

Image: Polly Borland, Morph 25, 2018, archival pigment print, 92 x 78.5cm. Courtesy: the artist and Art Byron.

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