Category Archives: Up coming Exhibitions

2012 Innovate/Curate Grant now $8000!

Tin Sheds Gallery is pleased to announce that we will now be offering $8000 to the successful winner of the 2013 Innovate/Curate Exhibition and Grant! That is double the amount originally on offer.

Application forms available here: Innovate/Curate form

Deadline 30th May 2012

‘The Transit of Venus – An exhibition with Daniel Boyd’ Opens 24th May 6pm

Curated by Matt Poll (Assistant Curator Indigenous Heritage, Macleay Museum, The University of Sydney) and Zanny Begg (Director Tin Sheds Gallery, Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney.      

“Also because it’s nice to talk like everyone else, to say the sun rises, when everybody knows it’s only a manner of speaking” DELEUEZE AND GUATTARI, A Thousand Plateaus.

June 6, 2012, marks the second anniversary of the Transit of Venus since Australia was colonized in 1788. The Transit of Venus is a rare astrological event (that occurs in a repeating pattern of two transits separated by eight yars every 243 years) that led Captain Cook to Tahiti, on his way to Australia, in 1769. The last Transit of Venus was observed in 2004 and the next one after the 2012 transit will be in 2117. Observations of the Transit of Venus were important for early scientists to enable them to determine the size of the universe. The desire to measure and map the far reaches of the outer universe coincided with a desire to map and colonize the “new lands” of Oceania and the South Pacific: a fact evidenced by Captain Cook’s voyage on the Endeavour being jointly sponsored by the Royal British Navy and the Royal Society (one of the world’s oldest scientific organisations, founded in 1660, to further understanding of the natural world). Captain Cook was officially dispatched to Tahiti to observe the Transit but his mission included a “sealed packet” with subsequent instructions to sail onto to Terra australis ingognita. 1 

The Transit of Venus – An exhibition with Daniel Boyd presents an opportunity to revisit the consequences of Captain Cook’s voyage on the Endeavor assessing its ramifications, not just for the Aboriginal people of Australia, but also more broadly for our understanding of the connections between science, art, astronomy and geography.

The role of astronomy in transforming the Catholic Church’s grip on medieval Europe cannot be overestimated; it was only in 2008 that one of the founders of modern astronomy, Galileo Galilee, was officially pardoned by the Church that denounced him as a heretic over 400 years earlier for his insistence that the earth revolved around the sun. Among the world’s Indigenous peoples this knowledge was not particularly new, perhaps the most famous example would be the Aztec Calendar that clearly depicts the sun at the centre of our universe. Across numerous Indigenous knowledge systems, in the Americas, Australia and the Pacific Islands, and the African continent, there was an understanding of the relationship between the sun, the planets and the earth – this knowledge appears in creation stories, maps, and in the navigational prowess that enabled Indigenous explorers to migrate across the vast distances of the sea.

For Captain Cook and the Royal Society accurate data on the transit of Venus was obtained by calibrating several observations, from various parts of the world, into single coordinates thereby striating the world within a grid that has become the blueprint for modern geopolitical mapping of the continents. This knowledge was both used to map the far reaches of the cosmos and the expanding terrain of colonization on earth: Naval Officers of the 18th century akin to the astronauts of today, heading out into unknown territories, hoping to bring back scientific discoveries and glory for the home country.

But while Captain Cook has received the credit for the ‘discovery’ of Australlia, it should also be noted that he relied on the invaluable experience of the Tahitian navigational expert Tupea to first find and survey a map of New Zealand but to then also make his way across to the eastern coast of the Australian mainland. On the occasion of the second anniversary of the Transit of Venus we can look again at the experiences of Indigenous and non-Indigenous explorers, scientist and artists and revisit previously help assumptions about knowledge and our place in the universe.

Artist Daniel Boyd first came to prominence with a series of works that subverted the narrative authority of Australian history paintings by questioning the legitimacy of the heroic explorer. He has recently returned from a residency at the Natural History Museum in London and his works are held in the collections of The National Gallery of Australia, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, The National Gallery of Victoria, The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, The National Gallery of Victoria and The Art Gallery of New South Wales. In this solo exhibition he will work with items from the collection at the Macleay Museum to explore the significance of the Transit of Venus for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous understandings of the universe. 

1.  Nick Lomb, Transit of Vensus 1631 to the Present, Powerhouse Publishing, Sydney: 2011.

Exhibition continues until the 23 June 2012.

For more information contact:

Two upcoming exhibitions – ‘We need you, you need us’ and ‘Červená Voda (Red Water)’

We have two new exciting exhibitions opening mid April at the Tin Sheds Gallery.

We need you, you need us 
Paul Gazzola
Dara Gill
Agatha Gothe-Snape
Sebastian Moody
Lara Thoms

Curated by Georgie Meagher

Červená Voda (Red Water)
Nathan Babet (Hrebabetzky)

Both exhibitions open Friday 20 April 6-8pm

Tim Burns / Survey Against the Grain 16 March – 14 April 2012

OPENING NIGHT Thursday 15 March 6 – 8pm

 Tim Burns survey exhibition spans over 40 years. From his early work of the 1970s when Burns was actively producing explosive art actions, performance installations such as ‘A change of plan’ (AGNSW) together with his pioneering work with super-8 features of the late 1970’s.

A series of works on paper and archival material will document his early performative and conceptual work. Tim Burns is currently working on a facebook project titled DIAtribe_interacTIV supported by the Australia Council, which will be launched during the exhibition. The artist will be in-situ daily in the gallery space.

The work comprises of 300+ oversize A3 sheets consisting of records and images of previous works, most of which have been lost or have disappeared, screening of four films that have survived and a series of digi prints on paper, which are part of an edition of 20. This exhibition has been shown in-part at Uplands in Melbourne; Fotofreo in Perth and at the AEAF in Adelaide.

This collection of artefacts, images, photographs and films, grows with each exhibition. This is a historically important and fascinating opportunity to experience the work and the mind of one of Australia’s most important and true avant garde socially active underground artists. Not to be missed, especially by art historians, filmmakers, photographers, culturalists and collectors.


One of Australia’s true avant garde and socially active Artists whose artworks, using interactivity, surveillance, performance film, TV, video and painting, often broke new ground in their innovative uses of the media. A majority of the works remain unknown to an Australian audience although he grew up in the WA wheatbelt, where he now lives again. He lived and worked out of New York for 20 years mostly known there for his film and theatre work and few in Australia realise the importance of the work or his place in the history of Australian art.

The arrest of his work ‘A Change of Plan’ at the Art Gallery of NSW in 1973 became a platform for artists rights in public galleries. His successful postcard campaign in Mildura to have crosswalks installed won the American institute for graphic arts book award in 77 and his Super 8 feature film ‘Why Cars? – CARnage!’ won the New York creative Artists award and predicted the destruction of the world trade centre by Arab extremists decades before 9/11. His use of Super 8 as a serious medium predates any of the movements either in the States or in Australia. His extremely low budget 16 mm film ‘Against the Grain’ took the writings of Jean Genet on terrorism and state control and contextualised it within an Australian context. This has been translated into Japanese and Spanish and he is probably the only white man to make an international award winning comedy about the stolen generation and get away with it, again way before it became the public issue it is today.

However, the confrontations over installations and opposition to him and his works has meant that that there has not been a contemporary work of his in an Australian public gallery since the 70s and in WA there are no works in any public collections except early paintings at UWA. He was even recently censored and fired from the artist in residence program IASKA in Kellerberrin. Because his work has been viewed as film or theatre rather than art his current works reside in alternative spaces and as a result he has worked extensively in the theatre both in NYC and the east coast. Unable to finance a film after ‘Against the Grain’ Burns started again in the music video business to survive, eventually going on into TV and again made break throughs with interactive reality shows that were the first of their kind in the states and Australia.

Again his project DEVICE TV funded by the Australian Film commission for community TV [for the first time] was refused broadcast on Melbourne’s Channel 31 where John Howard’s community censorship laws were put into affect. He is also currently in litigation with the town of York over the attempted censorship and banning of a work he did for the 175 year celebrations of white settlement where he looked at court cases involving Aboriginal defendants.

As a consequence there has been little written about his work and he has been overlooked in most Australian art history records.

This exhibition is part of Art Month Sydney 2012 Also participating in Sydney Art at Night | 22nd March 6 – 7pm 

Film Screening Schedule. All screenings from 2pm:
Saturday 17th March Why Cars?-CARnage!’, 1976
Saturday 24th March
Against the Grain, 1980
Saturday 31st March
Luke’s Party, 1991 Thus went Phillipa, 1981
Saturday 14th April
Against the Grain, 1980 

For more information please visit: 

Special thanks to


The Right to the City

If you have built castles in the air,
your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be.
Now put the foundations under them

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

The Right to The City is an exhibition and publishing project, cosponsored by Tin Sheds Gallery and Architectural Theory Review, bringing together a series of artistic, theoretical and philosophical escape plans. These escape plans range from the whimsical to the more serious, and present real or imagined ways of reinventing life in our cities. The project will explore the challenge of “putting foundations” under these “castles in the air” – seeking connections between art, architecture, philosophy and action.

In thinking through those connections, The Right to the City takes as its starting point David Harvey’s famous article that redefined urban existence as a contested part of modern democracy: “The freedom to make and remake our cities and ourselves is, I want to argue, one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights”.  Given the perilous environmental predicament we find ourselves in, coupled with our intensifying urbanisation, many artists, activists, planners and architects are seeking ways to “remake” the city in more socially connected and sustainable ways. These activities are often concerned with negotiating the increasing fragmentation and complexity of the contemporary city; developing critical spatial practices that engage in micro-political actions. The Right to the City will bring together an ambitious collection of artistic and written works that explore these urban interventions – opening up a space in which possibilities for reimagining life in the city can be discussed.

The exhibition will be at Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney, and will bring together an important group of Australian and international artists whose work is engaged with critical spatial practice.  It will combine a gallery show with offsite projects in the grounds of Sydney University and in the local area.

Participating artists:
Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro (Australia)
atelier d’architecture autogérée (France)
David Rogers (NZ/Australia)
Tessa Zettel & Karl Khoe (Australia)
SquatSpace (Australia)
Milkcrate Urbanism (Australia)
Temporary Services (USA)
Sophie Warren and Jonathan Mosley (UK)
Marjetica Potrč (Slovenia)
Bababa International (Australia)

Urban Farm:
During the course of the exhibition the courtyard outside Tin Sheds Gallery will be transformed into a temporary urban farm that will be designed and established by students in the Urban Architecture Research Studio. Produce from the urban farm will be given away free to staff, students and gallery visitors.

A public symposium sponsored by the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning will be held in conjunction with the exhibition. An evening keynote lecture by Margaret Crawford will be followed by a one-day seminar, featuring a combination of invited speakers and presentations selected through an open call.

For more information click here.

The Right to the City has been
generously funded by: