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Sydney scores two art shows and a new theme park

July 26, 2013 DESTINATION, Headline News No Comments Email Email

Sydney is to receive two new art exhibitions. A wilder and farther-flung attraction, Australia’s newest theme park, is on track to open in December.

One of the art shows covers American art. The other covers the artist, activist and musician, Yoko Ono. The theme park is Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney, currently under construction on a 25-hectare site at Prospect, Western Sydney, 45 minutes from the Sydney CBD.

Covering more than 200 years of American art, history and experience, 80 works will feature at the Art Gallery of NSW, while the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) will present Yoko Ono’s  first major Australian exhibition. 

“The Sydney International Art Series, supported by the NSW Government, brings the world’s most outstanding exhibitions to our State, and this year – the series’ fourth iteration – is no exception,” NSW Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Arts, George Souris, announced yesterday.

“Sydney will be the only city in Australia to host the exhibitions America: painting a nation and War Is Over! (if you want it): Yoko Ono.

“This is a very rare opportunity to see the most expansive survey of American paintings ever exhibited in Australia featuring celebrated American artists Jackson Pollock, Georgia O’Keeffe, James McNeil Whistler, Winslow Homer and John Singer Sargent.

“Yoko Ono is one of the world’s most legendary and intriguing personalities and the exhibition spans five decades of her career, including her time with husband John Lennon.

“We are expecting visitors from around Australia and from across the Asia Pacific region to travel to NSW to see these exhibitions, which are exclusive to Sydney.”

Art Gallery of NSW Director, Dr Michael Brand, said he was pleased to give audiences in Sydney greater access to American art and culture.

“This exhibition will both open a window on the grand narrative of American painting and hold up a mirror against which we can further explore our own art history,” Dr Brand said.

MCA Acting Director, Michael Snelling, said: “We are thrilled that Yoko Ono accepted our invitation to create a major survey for the MCA. The presentation spans five decades of practice from the 1960s onwards and offers Sydney audiences a rare opportunity to discover just how important and acclaimed an artist she is.”

Since the Sydney International Art Series began, more than AUD 80 million in new money has been generated for the State and attracted over 1 million attendees, with nearly 100,000 interstate and overseas visitors coming specifically to Sydney to see the exhibitions.

America: painting a nation opens at the Art Gallery of NSW on 8 November 2013 and War Is Over! (if you want it): Yoko Ono opens at the MCA on 15 November 2013.

Far to the west of the shows, Wet ‘n’ Wild Sydney, close to M4 and M7 motorways, will deliver the equivalent of 300 full time jobs in the tourism industry on completion.

With a central location for visitors, the AUD 115 million Wet ‘n’ Wild project will boost tourism and the New South Wales visitor economy. The park owners, Village Roadshow Limited are contributing AUD 7 million to upgrade surrounding roads.

General manager of the Tourism Industry Council NSW, Andrew Jefferies, points out that NSW tourism is not just about the Sydney CBD.

“More focus on new developments and initiatives in Greater Sydney and regional New South Wales are necessary to grow the wider visitor economy and reach the 2020 target of doubling overnight visitor expenditure”.

Wet’n’Wild Sydney will feature 42 slides and attractions, along with the world’s largest attraction Wet’n’Wild Skycoaster. The ride will winch customers to a height 10 metres taller than the sails of the Sydney Opera House before plunging them towards a wave pool at a speed of 110km/h.  Many Western Sydney locals have been able to watch the park come together, with attractions such as the 18-metre-tall Dark tornado and multi-coloured Whizzard mat 8 Racer clearly visible from the M4 motorway and the surrounding hills of Prospect Reservoir.

With prices for single days still to be released, Wet’n’Wild Sydney will offer an annual pass for only AUD 79.99, along with a range earlybird specials to be announced later this year.

Edited by Peter Needham

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