When you stop being amused by the Instagram boyfriends taking portrait shots in front of the latest light installation, and start having Groundhog Day flashbacks, it’s time to go.
Sydney is home to a wealth of smaller galleries ripe for perusing. We’ve rounded up some of the best galleries in the city for a date — however AWOL makes no guarantees on the success of said dates. We can only do so much.[related_articles]75081,75096,74683[/related_articles]
White Rabbit Gallery
Just steps from Central Park, White Rabbit Gallery is a philanthropically funded institution, founded by Judith Neilson. The gallery rotates through one of the largest collections of Chinese art outside China – the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere. Past exhibitions have featured works by Ai Wei Wei, Peng Hung-Chih and one of China’s brightest talents, Sun Xun.
A winsome tea house occupies the airy lower level. Is there a more solid romantic foundation that a few plates of dumplings or scones shared while watching a beautiful flower tea unfurl between you? No. Head to Chippendale Green afterwards for some of the best dog watching in the inner-city.
Tucked inside The Lord Gladstone, Goodspace Gallery is a just skip away from Central Station. If your date goes so well after dumplings you feel could have a beer or two and absorb more art, head down here.
Goodspace has been home to both local and international artists, presenting micro zine fairs, instant photography collections, party ephemera, so keep an eye on their upcoming exhibitions. Goodspace is perfect for those fatigued by uptight gallery culture and offers an intimate look at artists work in a beloved local stomping ground.
They’re not yet open again after closing up for lockdown, but they will be, so that gives you plenty of time to find a date.
Brett Whiteley Studio
We love a throwback and the Brett Whiteley Studio in Surry Hills is another date-ready gem. The studio preserves the space where Australian artist Brett Whiteley lived and worked from the mid-’80s onwards. Displaying different slices of his work over his career, it’s intimate, but not intimidating.[related_articles]74632,73888[/related_articles]
The heartbeat of the artist can be felt strongly in his work and the accoutrements of his life here. While the gallery does not have a cafe per se, they encourage visitors to return on the day after frequenting one of the many cafes in the vicinity. Bourke St Bakery and Kürtősh are both solid options nearby to digest a cake (and the art).
Aboriginal and Pacific Art Gallery
While major galleries provide high visibility to Western European classics, there often isn’t a huge amount of attention on the work being created by Aboriginal artists. The Aboriginal and Pacific Art Gallery offers a window into that practice.
Run by founder Gabriella Roy and art advisors and community art centres across the country, you’ll find works from all states and mediums. The space is bright and beautiful, but definitely one of the smaller ones on this list – which leaves plenty of time for heading to Carriageworks Farmers Market for brunch or Centennial Parklands for a picnic afterwards.
4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art
Haven’t planned that romantic trip to Japan that everyone and their mom has been on yet? Explore some of the incredible output of Australian and Asian-Australian artists at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.
4A is a non-profit organisation whose mission is to foster innovation and dialogue between Australia and the wider region of Asia. At a previous show in Club 4A, Sydney’s very own DJ and artist Rainbow Chan featured in an exhibition – for the art patron who also loves a boogie.