My picks for this weekend

20 and 21 December

Voyage to the Deep: Underwater Adventures
Kids aged 2 to 7 can climb into the nautilus submarine (which is land-based) and explore the inner workings including playing on Nemo’s pipe organ, looking through the periscope, climbing up to the lookout, investigating the contents of a shark’s stomach, steering the submarine and then dashing into a giant squid to slide down the slippery dip. The wreck of a Spanish galleon is nearby and you can climb through that and the giant clam shell to continue the fun. Included in the Big Ticket.
When and where: On now at the Australian National Maritime Museum

Glazed and Confused: Ceramics in contemporary art practice
23 artists have contributed to a new exhibition at the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Art Centre which all began as a partnership between Hazelhurst and the Ceramics Design Studio Gymea, Sydney TAFE. Coordinator Lynda Draper invited established artists to experiment with clay and in particular to look at contemporary ceramic artwork. Artists presenting in the exhibition including David Capra, Joan Ross, Harriet Body, Marc Etherington, Peter Sharpe and Jodie Whalen. Free.
When and where: On now until 1 February Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Art Centre, 782 Kingsway, Gymea Daily 10-5pm.

Bungaree: The first Australian
This is an exhibition that was previously on at the Mosman Art Gallery and returns for another visit from this weekend. It is a multi-arts response by contemporary aboriginal artists to the story of aboriginal historical figure Bungaree. Mosman Art Gallery is bringing this exhibition back to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the establishment of Bungarees Farm at Georges Heights in Mosman which was the first land grant by colonial authorities to an aboriginal person. There will be a site specific 9 day arts event to commemorate Bungarees Farm which will be presented in the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Camouflage Fuel Tank at Georges Heights. If you were not able to catch this exhibition in 2012 when it was first at Mosman, then don’t miss it now. Free
When and where: On now till 22 February, Mosman Art Gallery. Bungarees Farm site specific event 31 January – 8 February, Georges Heights Mosman.

Towers of Tomorrow with Lego bricks
At the Museum of Sydney is an exhibition of a mini metropolis of skyscrapers from Australia and Asia. Built by Australian Lego obsessive, Ryan McNaught, the Lego towers include the Tokyo Skytree, the Twin Petronas Towers, Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands and Sydney Tower. Kids can also make their own towers with lots of loose Lego bricks. Tickets $15/Family tickets $45.
When and where: On now until 19 April Museum of Sydney Cnr of Phillip and Bridge Street Sydney.

Absent Friends
The 1974 Alan Ayckborn play directed by Mark Kilmurry, is on at the Ensemble Theatre. Starring Darren Gilshenan, Michelle Doake, Queenie van de Zandt, Brian Meegan, Jessica Sullivan and Richard Sydenham. This is one awkward moment after another. A tea party held by a bunch of friends to comfort another friend who has lost his fiancé, Carol, in a drowning accident. However, all of the suburban tensions, resentments, non-success stories of life bubble underneath, as well as the lecherous and adulterous behaviour of some of the disgruntled friends. The first act is strong and notwithstanding the slightly hammy performances, the audience is kept in a steady flow of laughs. The second act nearly succeeds but a moment of hysteria that goes nowhere throws the play into ending with a whimper. You will recognise lots of moments of awkwardness with friends. The set and characters are firmly set in the 70s and Queenie van der Zandt’s performance is outstanding.
When and where: On now Ensemble Theatre Kirribilli

Portia Geach Memorial Award
Artist Laura Jones, Tamara Dean and Mirra Whale discuss their approaches to paintings as part of the public programme at the S.H. Ervin Gallery on Sunday afternoon. Tickets $7/$5 and that includes the talk.
When and where: Sunday 14 December 3pm-4pm – Exhibition open Tuesday to Sunday 11-5pm. S.H. Ervin Gallery, Watson Road, Observatory Hill The Rocks

Moonlight Cinema
The outdoor cinema at Centennial Park has started Tickets on sale at
When and were: On now until March. Enter via the Woollahra Gates, Centennial Park.

Ashley Frost: Harbour studies
Artist Ashley Frost’s works inspired by Sydney Harbour and local views are on display in Waterloo. The artist has painted these works during winter and spring mornings this year with the feature of the light quality on the harbour.
When and where: 2 December to 20 December 2 Danks Street, Waterloo, Stella Downer Gallery

The Coogee Carols
On Sunday 21 December at Coogee Beach. Andrew O’Keefe will host the Coogee Carols with singers Mitchell Butel, Tyran Parke, Chloe Dallimore, Katrina Retallick, and lots more. Free
When and where: Sunday 21 December 6.30pm, Goldstein Reserve, Coogee Beach

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens’ redemptive play about Ebeneezer Scrooge (Robert Menzies) is set on a large and sparse stage, a no frills set (Michael Hankin), bare and plain just like Scrooge’s view on life. His grumpy bah humbug approach to the festive season is pitied by his nephew Fred (Eden Falk) and put upon employee Bob Cratchit (Steve Rodgers). Scrooge finds himself alone on Christmas Eve when he is startled by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley (Peter Carroll). Marley warns Scrooge that because of his meanness, the spirits of Christmas past (Ivan Donato), present (Kate Box) and future will soon be visiting him. This play is about the possibility of a second chance, the stingy old man that realises his errors and mends his ways. The spirt of Christmas future frightens the living daylights out of Scrooge and opens up the previously closed over well of generosity. Also featuring Miranda Tapsell as Tiny Tim and Urusla Yovich as Mrs Cratchit. A play to reflect on the power of redemption and a perfect piece of theatre for the Christmas season. Directed by Anne- Louise Sarks and adapted from Dickens’ novel by Benedict Hardie and Anne-Louise Sarks.
When and where: On now Belvoir, Surry Hills

Lynley Dodd: A Retrospective
It’s Hairy Maclary from Donaldsons Dairy with Slinky Malinky and Scarface Claw! This exhibition features 50 original drawings of these wonderful characters by New Zealand author and illustrator, Lynley Dodd. Grab a chair in the reading room for story time and craft activity at 10.30am every Wednesday or watch the Hairy Maclary animated tales.
When and where: From 1 November – 15 March at the State Library of New South Wales

Shopkeepers of Newton: Photographs by Nic BezzinaNewtown is a colourful and diverse suburb and photographer Nic Bezzina captured the alternative spirit in Newtown between 2009 and 2013 and these photos are on display at the State Library. Shopkeepers from Reactor Rubberware, Cat Protection Society, Bob Gould and many others.
When and where: On now, State Library of New South Wales, Macquarie Street.

A Further Shore – Bombs, babes and sons of beaches.
Manly Art Gallery & Museum presents a collection of beach images reflecting Australian beach culture with informal, posed, documentary and fun images collected by Sydney photographer, Robert Dein, over 30 years. Many of the photos are from unknown photographers.
When and where: Manly Art Gallery & Museum, West Esplanade Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-5pm. Entry free. 8 November – 26 April.

Pop to Popism
The Art Gallery of New South Wales big summer show Pop to Popism starts this weekend with over 200 works by famous pop artists. Get your fill of David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Brett Whiteley, Martin Sharp, Martha Rosler, Peter Blake, Maria Kozic and heaps of others.
When and where: From 1 November, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Notorious Criminals and Breakers
The Justice and Police Museum has a new exhibition about a grandmother Caroline Grills who baked cakes and slices but included just that added extra ingredient – rat poison! The story of Mrs Grills and many other infamous criminals is told in this exhibition as well as the clever criminals who were experts in safe breaking and other criminal endeavours that may not be practised as much these days! Tickets $10/$5
When and where: Weekends only on now from 10am to 5pm Justice and Police Museum, Corner of Phillip and Albert Streets, Circular Quay

2014 Moran Prizes
The Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize will be displayed as part of the Moran Art Prizes Exhibition at Juniper Hall in Paddington.
When and where: 29 October to 15 February Juniper Hall, Oxford Street, Paddington

Harry Seidler: Painting toward architecture
Presented by Sydney Living Museums, this exhibition looks at one of Australia’s most famous architect’s pioneering and distinctive career and his work in office towers, houses, apartments and public buildings. This exhibition is curated by Vladimir Belogolvsky and Sydney Living Museums’ Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon. It looks at his journey from Austria to England and his work in Australia including collaborations with Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, Oscar Neimeyer, Sol LeWitt, Lin Utzon, Dick Dusseldorp and Max Dupain amongst others. There are family photographs and personal effects.
When and where: Museum of Sydney, cnr Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney from Saturday 1 November ($10)

Don McCullin: The Impossible PeaceWar photographer and landscape photographer Don McCullin has a new exhibition on at the State Library – “The Impossible Peace”. This exhibition features war photographs and landscape images from 1958 to 2011.
When and where: On now – State Library of New South Wales, Macquarie Street

The Wharf Revue 2014: Open for BusinessOn at Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Company starring Jonathan Biggins, Amanda Bishop, Douglas Hansell and Phillip Scott. Tickets from $40 – $63. Written and created by Jonathan Biggins, Drew Forsythe and Phillip Scott.
When and where. Wednesday, 22 October until Saturday, 20 December 2014, Wharf 1, Sydney Theatre Company.

Aztecs
This exhibition draws on original artefacts from Mexican museums and takes you through the 500 year old story of the Aztec civilisation focussing on daily life – food, religious rituals, animals and jewellery, death and sacrifice, the afterlife, weapons and war. Sculptures of the Aztec Gods – some of them very cruel! Dioramas of how crops were farmed, sometimes in canals. Step up to the temple in the centre of the exhibition and look around the base at the sacrificial offerings! Some fascinating insights into the Aztec life including that education was compulsory for boys and girls and there was incredibly strict discipline and if you were rude to your parents you might have been pricked with spines or made to inhale chilli smoke! Exhibition tickets $24 /$14 and family $62 Australian Museum
When and where: On now at the Australian Museum College Street

The City of Forking Paths
This is a magical twilight walk listening to an audio narration accompany a film on a smartphone of the area that you walk from Customs House to the Quay and then to The Rocks. As a local, re-discover your own city and the amazing buildings and stories that have that built the city especially in The Rocks area. As a foreigner or from other parts of Australia, delight in this guided tour of a special part of Sydney. A specially commissioned artwork for the Biennale, Canadian artist Janet Cardiff together with George Bures Miller came to Sydney last year and spent several months in The Rocks, living and experiencing the area. They set about making a film (at night) which immerses you in your surroundings and introduces a soundscape, music and noise that accompany you on a delightful journey. So while watching the film and listening to the narrative which includes fictitious scenarios and confusing sounds, you are directed on this walk wending your way through laneways and streets, pausing to look at places you may normally just rush past and not notice. You take this walk on your own leaving space in between the next person to allow a gap to experience it yourself – indulging in an hour of aloneness and art. This film makes Sydney look like part of a noir film – moody and edgy but fascinating and historic. Given the proposed changes to The Rocks, this may soon be a historic record of the area. This audio video walk is a permanent gift to the city and is downloadable onto your smartphone or you can borrow a phone (leaving your credit card and photo id at Customs House). Suitable also for kids but from age 8 and above. Flat shoes recommended as it takes just over an hour – and then you need to walk back from the Rocks to Customs House to return the smartphone. Free! and on forever! or as long as technology will allow.

When and where: On now (and forever!) after sunset. Customs House Circular Quay.

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