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Cruel Summer - curated by Billy Bain

Cruel Summer - curated by Billy Bain

Artbank Sydney 30 November 2023 - 5 February 2024
Artbank Window

Cruel Summer - Billy Bain in conversation with Anne Zahalka

Australian Summer is in full swing, the sun is hot and the surf is up. Artbank has invited Darug artist Billy Bain to curate our Summer Window. Bain’s arts practice challenges ideas around social, political and cultural representations of Australian identity. His work often references Australian surf culture, using humour to question the stereotypes that much of this nationalistic iconography is built on.

Please join Billy Bain alongside acclaimed artist Anne Zahalka to discuss the contemporary narrative of Australian beach culture and identity.

When: Thursday 15 February 2024

Time: 5.30pm – 7pm Talk to begin at 6pm

Where: Artbank Sydney, 222 Young Street Waterloo


If you have any access requirements please let us know so we can help.

Light refreshments and a private viewing of Artbank’s Collection will follow.

"Cruel Summer" Curated by Billy Bain

"Since the British arrived on our coastline and planted their flag in the sand, effectively claiming ownership for the colony, our coastline has become a site of colonial violence. Informed by Aileen Moreton-Robinson’s “The White Possessive”, I understand the urban and suburban beach space to be an implied white possession enforced through performative masculinities embodied by surfers, lifesavers, and soldiers. In 2023, domestically and globally, invisible boundaries and borders that seek to divide and define who belongs and who doesn’t have never been more entrenched in the public consciousness. I see the invisible boundaries of the beach space as being policed and acted upon by these Australian beach icons.

Through juxtaposing colonial representations of beach culture with contemporary perspectives by artists from diverse backgrounds I aim to curate a space that encourages dialogue surrounding belonging, spatial ownership, the imported and the native. As an Indigenous surfer and artist my practice aims to reclaim space for myself and other marginalised voices within a culture and place where we have been systematically denied. - Billy Bain "