Things to do in Sydney

Unique and Creative Art Galleries in Sydney

Art blooms in Sydney. Feast your eyes on it at these galleries.

Filled with architectural splendors and striking signs of natural life, Sydney is a city where art abounds. The city's creative minds feed off of its rich history and cultural verve, turning it into something more. Artists and their works dot the harbor, creating a community where imagination runs wild.

Of all the things to do in Sydney, visiting art galleries is among the most vibrant. Local, contemporary, classical — you name it, and the local galleries have it. Here are the collections you can’t miss in Sydney.

Public Art Galleries

Bringing art to the masses, these galleries are fun for all.

1. Sydney Modern Project

It’s not every day that a 151-year-old museum gets a complete makeover. But the folks at the Sydney Modern Project made it happen, transforming an outdated gallery into a modern art hub. Now, the bright space houses a diverse and dynamic collection.

Australian, Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander artists are showcased here. The result is an art gallery in Sydney thriving on its many facets. Inside is a broad look at what humans can do with the mediums they’re given, from steel to a simple pencil. Fittingly located on Art Gallery Road, the museum is spread between two buildings.

With so much to explore, you might have to make a day of it. Luckily, the espresso bar serves up fresh pastries around the clock.

Photographer: Nan Chen

2. Artspace Sydney

Organic and human-made wonders collide at Artspace in Sydney. Even the walk to the front door is charming. The building faces Sydney Harbor, with a line of trees standing tall before it.

A fully immersive exhibition awaits you inside. Here, artists are given free rein to transform the space as they see fit. This creates a full-on sensory experience for unsuspecting museum-goers. Escape is easy within these halls.

Where the unreal becomes reality, you never know what you might find. In this space, art becomes action. The sprawling 52 Actions exhibition offers a platform for creators with something to say.

These pieces are thoughtfully provocative, meant to inspire change as only art can. Think tattoos preserved through dramatic photography and neon paintings of veiled women in traditional wedding garb. Room after room, Sydney’s artists put on a show with lights, shapes, and colors. It’s a performance that even we would be proud of.

Commercial Art Galleries

See what’s new at these highly curated galleries with works straight from the artists’ studios.

3. SOHO Galleries

SOHO Galleries thinks big. Beneath the massive dome and spire out front lies a portal to larger-than-life worlds. Inside, the gallery space is brimming with bold swaths of color. Large-scale paintings are the specialty here, with artists showcasing their biggest and brightest. Each Australian-made piece tells a story of its own.

Beyond the still life and abstract oil paintings is a collection that takes up even more space.The displayed sculptures play on the world’s natural inherent splendor. Carved timber and bronze horse heads draw stares and gasps from visitors.

In the same space, organic curves recall the movement of living shapes. These life-size figures are stunningly memorable. For art that overtakes you, SOHO Galleries is an excellent place to start.

4. Liverpool Street Gallery

Clean lines, crisp white walls, and high warehouse ceilings are the epitome of commercial galleries. At Liverpool Street Gallery, each piece shines against the trim backdrop. Colors pop from canvas and figures beckon from stark frames.

Under the soft gallery lights, Liverpool Street Gallery's curated pieces gleam. Established and emerging artists are represented, resulting in a satisfying blend of seamless technique and original visions. The space dances with lines and hues. Peer inside for a whimsical look at something new.

Photographer: Athithan Vignakaran

5. Darren Knight Gallery

A welcoming home for Australia's up-and-coming artists sits on a quiet corner in the Waterloo suburb of Sydney. The Darren Knight Gallery has an unparalleled eye for art that’s worth attention.

Three decades in the industry have seen this gallery’s artists rise to international fame. With that kind of reputation, art lovers anticipate what the gallery will display next. Given its history, it could be anything.

Past exhibits have included ocarina-inspired sculptures, acrylic wildlife silhouettes, and baby pink powder-coated steel. This is a gallery that isn’t scared to embrace the unseen, and that's why we love it.

Art like this might warrant a contemplative walk while you think about everything you've seen. Head over to the tranquil Redfern Park for a post-art stroll.

Contemporary Art Galleries

Get a fresh perspective on art at these contemporary art galleries in Sydney.

6. Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

If you’re well-versed in Sydney tours, you’ve likely passed by this artistic hotspot once or twice. On the edge of the Circular Quay, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia embodies the energy only found in the city’s busiest neighborhood.

Contemporary artists from across the continent vie for a place on the wall at this gallery. Together, their pieces paint a fresh picture of Australia’s past, present, and future. Here, the art is literally all around you. Built into the floor, suspended from the ceiling, and projected onto a big screen — it's everywhere you look.

You’ll gaze into a floral sculpture teeming with life and poke your head into a fully immersive panorama of Santiago, Chile. The innovative artists with works on display employ everything from hot steel to salt to tell their stories. And that’s some out-of-the-box thinking we can get behind.

The Museum of Contemporary Art has a never-ending list of events. You'll always find something new, even if you've been there a dozen times before.

Photographer: Fidel Fernando

7. Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

The quaint brick home of the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery has hosted fearless contemporary artists for over 40 years. Decades have transformed the studio into countless exhibition spaces. You'll find a floor-to-ceiling purple cave, a snow-white forest, and a portal through the seasons here.

The gallery is run by Roslyn Oxley herself, and art lovers flock here for a peek at the latest and greatest in contemporary creativity. Some of the finest international artists, from Yayoi Kusama to Keith Haring, have showcased their skills in this gallery. These exhibits are both awe-inspiring and thought-provoking.

Here, unique mediums come together to build hidden perspectives. Think deconstructed skeletons on display across the wall and a starburst of color entombed inside a sculpture. We love that nothing is too weird for this gallery.

Diverse Art Form Galleries

Art takes every shape at Sydney’s most unique galleries.

8. Defiance Gallery

This is a gallery that lives up to its name. To walk into Defiance Gallery is to enter a new world of shapes and motion. While the paintings on the wall are striking, the delicately crafted sculptures are the real stars.

Stalwart exhibits, such as Jan King’s painted steel figures, draw crowds for their dainty use of hardy materials. The miniature sculpture room shrinks the intricate designs without diminishing their visual value. One look outside reveals the counterparts of these mini pieces.

Massive sculptures dot the garden for a midday stroll straight from a fairy tale. Here, a giant steel bull stands to graze beside a godlike statue of a deep-sea diver. These structures make full use of the surrounding shadows and organic curves for maximum impact. Much like our performers, Defiance Gallery isn’t afraid to be bold.

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9. Gannon House Gallery

Aboriginal art is on full display at Gannon House Gallery. Dedicated to showcasing the unique, fiery skill of Indigenous creatives, this museum has risen to prominence in the Australian art scene.

Featured artists have earned international acclaim, including Walangkura Napanangka, whose rich, rhythmic paintings depict the desert land of her childhood.

Complementing the natural geometry of the wall paintings is a selection of Indigenous artifacts. Woodwork, fiber art, and bark paintings from decades past are an ode to the region’s lush history and a celebration of what’s to come.

Are you looking for something to do after touring the gallery? Gannon House is conveniently located near some of the best things to do in Sydney.

10. Japan Foundation Gallery

As storytellers ourselves, we admire atypical attempts to spin a tale. At the Japan Foundation Gallery, you'll find stories of all forms. The Japanese government established this fantastic spot as part of its cultural exchange program. Naturally, art plays a significant role in the far-from-home examination of Japan’s diverse identity.

The mediums used to convey each unique narrative are just as diverse as the stories themselves. Here, artists weave stories through embroidery, adventure across time through a royal icing mural, and create new worlds with delicate wood carvings. Each piece has something to say to those who are willing to listen.

There's so much to explore and do at this gallery. You can traverse the winding gallery halls or enroll in a workshop to create your own masterpiece.

11. White Rabbit Gallery

As masters of visual awe, we fancy ourselves well-versed in unique art forms. And the White Rabbit Gallery is stuffed to the brim with them. Although the brick building itself is unassuming, its doors open to a surreal group of exhibits.

Crackling with creative energy and honed by technical skill, these works peer deep into the workings of modern life. An abandoned metropolis gleams in eerie solitude, and a slithering marble pillar tracks visitors across the floor.

What you see here might be hard to believe, but there’s always a kernel of truth to uncover. You can mull it all over at the adjoining tea house. At least the delightful biscuits aren’t hiding anything. Or are they?

Local Artist Galleries

Sydney serves up local talent at museums that showcase hometown pride.

12. Ferry Artists

This funky space is bursting at the seams with local flair. Artists from Sydney’s diverse communities come to Ferry Artists to give the public a taste of their talent. The space's open-arms policy means it is stocked with works in every medium. The result? A cozy, eclectic gallery with an envious artistic arsenal.

Don’t let the size fool you. Although this spot is small, its more-is-more approach to exhibits makes a collection worth combing through. Paintings and photographs flanked by metalware and stone sculptures are just the tip of the iceberg. Glasswork, ceramics, jewelry, and fiber arts all have a place here.

Feeling like you need to take a work of art home with you? Locally crafted wares are tucked into the fray, patiently waiting to be brought home as souvenirs.

13. Gallery Lowe & Lee

There’s no limit to what a single medium can do, but Gallery Lowe & Lee, previously known as the Kerrie Lowe Gallery, still pushes boundaries regarding ceramics. The shaped and glazed works from local ceramicists make a jolly menagerie within the gallery’s white walls.

Of all the Sydney museums, this is undoubtedly one of its most unique. Fish-bird hybrids and wide-eyed dragons perch next to manatees in bathing suits. The whimsy goes further with a charming wall of teapots in an unusual mix of shapes and colors.

Of course, the collection wouldn’t be complete without the vases and bowls. Etched, inlaid, and salt-fired, this selection is a local treasure trove. Feeling inspired? Pick up some pottery supplies while you’re here to try your hand at home.

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Une publication partagée par Gallery Lowe and Lee (@galleryloweandlee)

Begin Your Artistic Journey Through Sydney’s Top Galleries

You could spend days roaming the halls of Sydney’s art galleries, where creative wonders abound around every corner, just waiting for you to find them. But when the museum closes, and you step out into the setting sun, you’ll need a new horizon to set your sights on. That's where we come in.

Head down and sit in the audience at one of our shows. With a flick of the lights, our world comes to life right before your eyes. All dolled up, our troupe sets off into the air for a high-flying adventure.

Watch as a story unfolds through music and movement. Packed with thrilling tricks and heartwarming exploits, this is an experience you don’t want to miss. Snag your tickets to one of our shows in Sydney today.

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