It has been said that romance often inspires creative work, and in turn that work can often inspire romance.
A stroll through an quiet art gallery can be quite intimate, and you don't have to be someone that prefers Van Gogh over Van Halen to enjoy the experience. With that in mind, we have listed five of our favourite dates spots for those looking to add a touch of creativity to their first meeting.
The Biennale of Sydney is on again, this year curated by artistic director Mami Kataoka, previously of Tokyo's Mori Art Gallery. The exhibition features works by 70 artists from over 35 different countries. Taking place over seven different locations across Sydney, the beautiful and thought-provoking work features artists such as Ai Weiwei, Oliver Beer and Yukinori Yanagi.
We suggest venturing to the Carriageworks location over a weekend where you may be able to catch the Farmer's Market that happens once a month. If you have a full day, we also highly recommend the Cockatoo Island location. Taking the ferry out on the harbour and exploring the island to find the artworks nestled among the old architecture can make for a wonderful experience.
Where: Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artspace, Carriageworks, 4A Centre of Contemporary Asian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Opera House, Cockatoo Island
When: The Biennale of Sydney runs from the 16th of March to the 11th of June. Please check the website for each locations opening hours.
Every Wednesday, the Art Gallery of NSW stays open late for Art After Hours. The eclectic program differs each week, ranging from workshops, talks, film screenings and live music. And of course, you also get to wander the art gallery halls at night and enjoy the classic and modern artwork in a much quieter, intimate setting - perfect for creative types looking for a unique first meet.
Make sure you check their calendar to see what's on, and be sure to check out the Biennale of Sydney artworks on display before it ends.
Where: The Art Gallery of New South Wales
When: On Wednesdays the Gallery stays open late for Art After Hours with displays until 10pm. The cafe and restaurant are also open until 9pm.
Opened in 2009, the White Rabbit Gallery features one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of contemporary Chinese art. Founded by Kerr and Judith Neilson, it focuses on contemporary works produced after 2000. New exhibitions appear regularly, with the current exhibition, titled 'The Sleeper Awakes', exploring themes relating to freedom and its co-existence with isolation and ubiquitous state surveillance.
The first floor also features a gorgeous tea room with birdcage artwork hanging from the ceiling, that serves Chinese tea, dumplings and biscuits. For those a little more peckish, the Kensington Street food district is only a stones throw away.
Where: The White Rabbit Gallery
When: The gallery is open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Australia’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) is dedicated to exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the work of today’s artists. Exhibitions are constantly revolving, with a focus on works that are simultaneously visually engaging while also thought provoking. There is a mixture of both free and paid exhibitions, and its location on the harbour foreshore means that you are guaranteed a spectacular views either inside the gallery or out.
The MCA Cafe and Graze MCA, the resident restaurant, both provide a relaxing venue for you to enjoy great food when you need a break from wandering the gallery halls.
Where: The Museum of Contemporary Art
When: The gallery is open from Monday to Tuesday and Thursday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Wednesdays the gallery is open late until 9 p.m.
Cork & Chroma is a creative night out for those who either fancy themselves as the next Renoir, or those who simply want revisit their high school art class memories. It's simple; BYO favourite bottle of wine, and the friendly stagg will provide everything else you need. In a relaxed, social setting at this studio in the heart of Surry Hills, you'll take on the basic techniques of painting with acrylics on canvas with your date. Drink. Paint. Just don't drink the paint.
No artistic experience is necessary, and for food and drink, there are plenty of options on Holt Street and surrounding areas. You also get to keep your artwork to either admire, or giggle at (depending on how well you've done) as a keepsake from the night.
Where: Cork & Chroma Art Studio, Surry Hills
When: Classes start from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday to Saturday, and from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
The old Paramount Studio offices in Surry Hills were lovingly converted into this beautiful cinema and bar. The hand-crafted art-deco decor, with decorative wooden finishes, is reminiscent of 1940's architecture and the golden age of American cinema. Even the cinema seating has been specially flown in from Switzerland to keep the gorgeous aesthetic and cinema experience authentic. Classic and cult movies, plus new releases are programmed by Kate Jinx, host of FBi radio's Picture Show. The cosy bar also serves up a mix of classic cocktails, spritzes and highballs, with live music every Thursday and Saturday.
Where: Golden Age Cinema & Bar
When: The bar is open from Tuesday to Friday at 4 p.m. till late and Saturday and Sunday from 2.30 p.m. till late. You will need to check the cinema website for cinema screening times.
Discover your inner Brett Whitely with Life Drawing at the Attic Bar. Every Monday from 5:30pm the bar hires models of different ages and types to pose - all you need to do is bring your preferred sketching equipment and let your creative juices flow.
If standard life drawing isn't your cup of tea, Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School also runs a fun-filled life-drawing evening every second Tuesday at the same venue, featuring Australia’s most beautiful burlesque performers, cabaret singers and vintage models. The night is a visual feast of extravagant costumes, music, and creative entertainment. Whether you’re in line for next year’s Archibald, or have trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler, Dr Sketchy’s life drawing caters for all levels.
Where: Arthouse Hotel
When: Every Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Dr. Sketchy's Ant-Art school runs every second Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. onward and requires tickets beforehand which can be booked here.
ARTBAR takes your gallery experience and flips it on its head through art, music and performance. Kicking off after dark on the last Friday of every month, ARTBAR brings exhibitions, music and live acts together under the direction of a guest curator, transforming the MCA into a pulsating piece of performance art.
Bookings are essential as these events can quickly sell out.
Where: Art Gallery of New South Wales
When: The last Friday of every month. Check the website for more details.
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