Sydney Festival 2021 | 130 events across three weeks

Get ready, Sydney. Starting 6 January, the City, from Parramatta to Chippendale, provides the canvas for 20 days of engaging and immersive events, exhibitions, workshops and talks. The diverse program includes cabaret, theatre, opera, live music, dance and the circus; lots of family-friendly fun for the summer holidays.

Visual art highlights: The Art Gallery of New South Wales comes alive with ‘Archie Plus’, a festival of portraiture celebrating people and the power of community in a challenging year, until 10 January. ‘Design/Isolate’, at the Australian Design Centre until 27 January, presents over 60 designers/creatives capturing on sketches, diagrams, drawings, text or collage, their thoughts on COVID-19, isolation, their vision of ‘a new normal’, how they are affected and how design might contribute to recovery post-pandemic. ‘Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop’, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia until 28 February, presents over 70 works from across the artist’s extensive career, examining ideas around art history, cultural identity and our relationship to the cosmos.

Lindy Lee, Birth and Death, 2002, inkjet print, ink, synthetic polymer paint on Chinese accordion book, installation view, ‘Lindy Lee: Moon in a Dew Drop’, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney, 2020. Art Gallery of New South Wales, gift of the artist 2014, donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. Photograph: Anna Kucera. © the artist. Courtesy the artist and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney

‘Space YZ’, showing at Campbelltown Arts Centre from 7 January, advocates for better access to art school education across Australia today while celebrating the early work of Western Sydney University alumni artists. Curated by artist Janet Laurence, ‘Requiem’, at Paddington Reservoir Gardens from 16 to 24 January, crafts a time-space for us to lament and be present to the reality of the environmental loss wrought by bushfires. Artspace’s ‘52 ACTIONS’ supports artists in Australia through the commissioning of new work; posted on their website and Instagram each week for a year.

For more events and exhibitions, please visit the Sydney Festival website.