Artspace is where audiences meet the artists and the ideas of our times.

For the first time since moving into our current premises at the Gunnery building in 1992, Artspace has undertaken substantial changes to update the spaces in this multi-storey gallery and studio complex.

Artspace was established in 1983 as an artist-run contemporary art space dedicated to the presentation of contemporary and experimental art in a critical context. In this same year, we opened with our first major exhibition A Different Perspective curated by Terence Maloon in conjunction with the Multicultural Artists Agency at our temporary location in Surry Hills. In response to ever-increasing demand for space by artists, Artspace relocated in 1992 to our current location at the Gunnery in Woolloomooloo; a site renowned for its rich history as a former naval facility and then later in the 1970s as an artists’ squat that hosted studios, performances and exhibitions.

Since this time, Artspace has become a recognised site for the production and presentation of visual arts in an expanded field, with an emphasis on the creation of new work. Across our exhibition, studio, symposia, workshop and publishing platforms, Artspace encourages new ideas, risk and experimentation.

Independent, not-for-profit, non-collecting, critically engaged, collaborative and curatorially driven, Artspace is focused on supporting the development and presentation of contemporary art.

Artspace, the Gunnery Building, Sydney, 2015. With Biljana Jancic, pathogen in pink, 2015, site-specific installation, cloth tape, found branches, dimensions variable. Photo: Zan Wimberley


Artspace is well positioned in the East Sydney Precinct along Sydney's arts and cultural ribbon. Skirting the edges of the CBD, Darlinghurst and Potts Point, with the epicentre in the historic former docklands suburb of Woolloomooloo on Sydney Harbour, East Sydney is a vibrant arts precinct that is home to some of Sydney’s major art galleries, museums, commercial and independent galleries, artist run spaces and creative hubs.

Artspace is easily accessible by public transport, or a short 10-minute walk from Kings Cross Station, the Art Gallery of NSW, St James Station and the many popular eateries and cafes of Potts Point.


Gallery Open
Tues-Fri, 11am-5pm & Sat-Sun, 11am - 6pm

Office open
Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm

43 - 51 Cowper Wharf Road
Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Sydney Australia

T: +61 2 9356 0555

Admission is free, except for special events. The Artspace galleries and studios are wheelchair accessible.

Getting Here

By Train


Stop at Kings Cross Station. Exit the station via the Victoria Street exit, walk down Victoria Street and down the steps leading onto Cowper Wharf Road.

By Train


Exit St James Station and head east on Prince Albert Road. Continue onto Art Gallery Rd and follow the pathway across the Eastern Distributor footbridge. After ascending the staircase, turn left towards Bourke St. Turn right onto Nicholson St, then left onto Forbes Street to pass through the Forbes Street forecourt. The entrance to Artspace will be to your right on Cowper Wharf Road.

By Bus

Bus route 311 goes past Artspace, stopping just after Harry's Café de Wheels.

By Foot

Artspace is an easy 10-minute walk from the CBD. Walk through the Domain to the Art Gallery of NSW, follow the steps to the left of the front of the Art Gallery leading down onto Cowper Wharf Road.


Limited metered parking is available at the entrance to Artspace on Cowper Wharf Road and at the rear of the building on Bland Street. The publicly accessible Domain Car Park is a short 10 minute walk to Artspace (rates and operating times vary, please see their website)

Water Taxi

Artspace is accessible via private Water Taxi hire. Aussie Water Taxis depart from The Rocks, Circular Quay, The Opera House, Luna Park.


The entrance to Artspace is easily accessible for wheelchairs, prams and buggies due to the ground floor location. There is lift access via Artspace to the first and second floors in the Gunnery Building.


Art as a Verb
Exhibition dates | 4 June - 26 July 2015
Opening | Thursday 4 June 2015,

Marina Abramović, Vito Acconci, Bas Jan Ader, Paweł Althamer & Artur Źmijewski, Francis Alÿs, Billy Apple, John Baldessari, Brown Council, Catherine or Kate, Clark Beaumont, Martin Creed, DAMP, Aleks Danko, John Davis, Harold Dover, George Egerton-Warburton, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Emily Floyd, Ceal Floyer, Heath Franco, Alicia Frankovich, Andrea Fraser, Ryan Gander, Philip Gerner, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Matthew Griffin, Bianca Hester, Hi Red Center, Christopher L G Hill, Tehching Hsieh, Tim Johnson, Allan Kaprow, Peter Kennedy, Mike Parr, Sister Mary Corita Kent, Anastasia Klose, Laresa Kosloff, Jiří Kovanda, George Kuchar, George Maciunas, Basim Magdy, Paul McCarthy, David McDiarmid, Ian Milliss, Kate Mitchell, Bruce Nauman, Rose Nolan, Claes Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, Ariel Orozco, Jill Orr, Deborah Ostrow, Campbell Patterson, Kenny Pittock, Stuart Ringholt, Sarah Rodigari, Robert Rooney, Martha Rosler, Eva Rothschild, Tony Schwensen, Jill Scott, Kateřina Šedá, Christian Thompson, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Ken Unsworth, Gabrielle de Vietri, Franz West

With Performative Installations by Anastasia Klose, Jill Scott and Rirkrit Tiravanija

Art as a Verb is a major thematic exhibition that takes as its departure point the concept of art as action, both inside the gallery and beyond. From the energy and anarchy of fluxus, happenings and performance art, to contemporary relational and situational practices, Art as a Verb presents a range of projects from the 1960s to today that challenge the traditional role of the artist, the art object and the site of exhibition.

With over 60 artworks, and drawing on the notion of the dematerialisation of  art, Art as a Verb looks broadly at art’s relationship to the world and what constitutes the work of an artist. How do the varying roles of an artist (as instigator, facilitator, teacher, performer, consumer or visionary) fit within broader society? And how does the museum or gallery support art forms that function beyond the art object?

The exhibition showcases actions and performances, situational pieces, instructional works, manifestos and interactive props, bringing together iconic artworks from a wide range of Australian and international practitioners.

First conceived by Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) in 2014, Art as a Verb has been reworked for Artspace and includes additional works unseen in previous iterations.

Campbell Patterson, Lifting My Mother For As Long As I Can, 2011, video still, digital video, 5 minutes 58 seconds. Courtesy of the artist and Michael Lett Gallery, Auckland.

Gabrielle de Vietri, The Rules According to Yash and Adit, 2011, screen print on linen, edition 27/100, 70 x 50cm. Courtesy of the artist.

Ideas Platform

A new initiative for 2015, visitors are now greeted at the Artspace entrance by our new Ideas Platform. Conceived as a totally adaptive program space consciously situated at the entrance to the organisation, the Ideas Platform serves as a testing ground for experimental, open-­ended and expanded creative practice. It is a space for risk and speculation underpinned by the simple concept that if you have an idea, we have a platform. With a program focused on process as much if not more than outcome, the Ideas Platform will present a spectrum of projects from artists’ books and independent publishing initiatives, to occupations, performances, workshops, screenings, discussions and socially ­engaged and collaborative practices. Artspace acknowledges the generous support of Andrew Cameron AM and Cathy Cameron for the establishment of the Ideas Platform.

Writing Art

Curated by Scott Donovan

Exhibition dates | 25 June – 16 July 2015

Opening | Thursday 25 June 2015, 6–8pm

et al., Joseph Beuys, Stephen Birch, Chris Bond, Mark Brown, Vicky Browne, Ian Burn, Mitch Cairns, Christian Capurro, Carla Cescon, Gunter Christmann, Declan Clarke, Mikala Dwyer, James Ford, Julie Fragar, Alex Gawronski, Adrian Gebers, Matthys Gerber, David Haines, Shane Haseman, Emily Hunt, Biljana Jancic, Sean Kerr, Geoff Kleem, Steinar Haga Kristensen, David McDiarmid, Robert MacPherson, Clare Milledge, Michelle Nikou, Luke Parker, Mike Parr, Tanya Peterson, Debra Phillips, Elizabeth Pulie, Michael Riley, Elvis Richardson, Koji Ryui, Paul Saint, Sandra Selig, Michael Stevenson, Mary Teague, Torben Tilly, Justin Trendall, Ronnie van Hout

The use of text in art, as more than a mere descriptive aid, derives from conceptual and post-painterly practices of the 1960s. Of course there were important precedents, most notably in the influential philosophical/critical works of Réne Magritte or Marcel Duchamp, however it could be argued that it was not until the 1960s, with art’s disciplinary parameters already radically expanded, that the relationship to words could take centrestage. Part of this shift may be traced to the rise of advertising and its colonisation of the post-war urban spaces of the United States in particular. In a European context it could also be traced to the influence of the structuralist and post-structuralist theories of philosophers as diverse as Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze and Roland Barthes. These thinkers were some of the first to consider at length language’s relationship to the Image. For them, and in a variety of ways, language could never simply be illustrative. In fact, as Foucault would point out in his famous essay on Magritte’s iconic painting La trahison des images (Ceci n’est pas une pipe) — The Treachery of Images (This is Not a Pipe) — 1929, words and pictures were irreducible to one another; they spoke to one another without language being able to take the upper hand. Words painted worlds while texts could be images.

Writing Art illustrates that the use of text has evolved into an integral and multifaceted aspect of contemporary art. The use of text may be fundamentally material, focusing on the resonant connotations of words. It may be punning and self-referential. It may be spatial and constructive. It may draw close to poetry while maintaining a strong visual identity. It may be documentarian, or mockingly so where text is suggested as part of a narrative or fictional archive. Ultimately, it is the sheer mutability of the textual within the context of the visual arts that allows it to keep speaking, among works and to an ever-growing audience receptive to the form.


Beginning in February 2015 Artspace relaunched the non-residential studio program as free for artists. This new initiative acknowledges both the necessity for a studio program in Sydney that offers free space for artists, and the capacity to further support artists by leveraging important professional development opportunities through curatorial advocacy. This program lays the foundations for a more dynamic relationship between artists and Artspace programs and networks. Over six years, Artspace will engage 42 artists across different generations and art forms to undertake one-year residencies. This initiative places access, generosity and experimentation at the core of Artspace’s programming and operational activities. With its focus on curatorial advocacy, Artspace connects artists and audiences with vital national and international discourses. The inaugural One Year Studio Artists for 2015 include: Khadim Ali, Hany Armanious, Kelly Doley, Nick Dorey, Mikala Dwyer, Clare Milledge and Tim Silver.

Also launching this year, the International Visitors program, presented in partnership with UNSW | Art & Design, connects Australian artists with international networks to provide a critical context and space for the creation of new work.

Artspace also runs a residential studio program for visiting national and international artists through a number of partnerships. 2015 Residential Studio Artists include: Michelle Ussher (UK, AUS), Eve Fowler (USA), Kristin Nelson (Canada), Casey Legler (USA), Barbara Knezevic (UK, AUS), Guo Jian (CHN, AUS), Jess Johnson (AUS) and Anthea Behm (USA, AUS).

February to December 2015

One Year Studio Artist
Khadim Ali


February to December 2015

One Year Studio Artist
Hany Armanious


February to December 2015

One Year Studio Artist
Kelly Doley


February to December 2015

One Year Studio Artist
Nick Dorey


February to December 2015

One Year Studio Artist
Mikala Dwyer


February to December 2015

One Year Studio Artist
Clare Milledge


February to December 2015

One Year Studio Artist
Tim Silver


March to April 2015

Residential Studio Artist
Eve Fowler


February to April 2015

Residential Studio Artist
Kristin Nelson


January to April 2015

Residential Studio Artist
Michelle Ussher


April to June 2015

Residential Studio Artist
Guo Jian


May to July 2015

Residential Studio Artist
Anthea Behm


June to August 2015

Residential Studio Artist
Hae-Young Seo


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