The NBA Gallery: Inside Sydney’s latest immersive pop-up exhibition

The NBA has long been a driving force in pop culture as a whole, especially in Australia in recent years.

Whether through music, fashion, sport or art, it’s undeniable that the American League has become an important part of Australian pop culture, which Sydney’s new pop-up exhibition the NBA Gallery seeks to celebrate.

The NBA Gallery is an immersive experience, a celebration of Australia’s impact on the NBA and the NBA’s impact on Australia.

NBA Gallery

Witnessing an NBA game can evoke a bewildering array of feelings. It’s watching an act of magic, a dance, a game of chess, and the fastest decisions known to man.

Over the seventy-five years of the National Basketball Association, the North American professional basketball league has become more important than the game itself; it is a culture, a phenomenon, and for some, a way of life.

The presence of the NBA is global, as is the composition of its players.

Australia is one of the best-represented nations, with over 30 Australian players in league history.

Past and current Australian NBA players have been referenced collectively or individually in the works of Sonny Day, Noah Johnson, Kris Andrew Small and Scott Marsh.

Other artists engaged in more abstract or materially literal dialogues with the NBA; as seen in the works of Serwah Attafuah, Roman Jody, Nike Savvas, Alexandra Hackett (Aka Miniswoosh) and Dennis Golding.

Allow these nine works of art by nine Australian artists from multiple generations and backgrounds to broaden your perspective on the game and ruminate on the vast impact Australia has had on the league’s legacy.

Location

Held in Sydney, NSW, the NBA Gallery is located in the iconic Central Station, inside the entertainment complex nicknamed EDDY:

CENTRAL STATION
SHOPS 4-7, 1 AVENUE EDDY
HAYMARKET NSW 2000

Opening hours

Open every day from Friday August 19, 2022 to Wednesday August 31, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Artists

Scott Marsh

Scott Marsh is one of Australia’s most iconic and infamous street performers. With a long history in graffiti culture, he is internationally recognized for his iconic, politically inspired and newsworthy murals.

From marking Sydney’s trains at 12 to becoming a Moran Portrait Prize and Archibald Prize finalist, Scott confronts common perceptions around street art and graffiti, using traditional art techniques to prove that fine art can exist and succeed beyond oil and canvas.

Although some of his interpretations may be controversial, the overwhelming majority of Australians admire and encourage his work, with each piece drawing crowds of onlookers and transforming mundane buildings into sanctuaries of hope, resilience and social change.

Scott’s work has made headlines around the world with his iconic pieces including Kanye Loves Kanye, Saint George, Trump Obese Turtle, Merry Crisis and A Symbol of Pain and Frustration.

Denis Golding

Denis Golding

Dennis Golding is a Sydney-based artist, curator and contributor to Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay. Her practice reclaims Aboriginal history and identity by sharing her personal experiences and childhood memories of her childhood at Redfern in Sydney.

Golding critiques the processes of colonialism in Australia using a range of mediums to encourage new conversations around historical, social, political and cultural narratives.

Kris Andrew Small

Kris Andrew Small

Based in Sydney, the work of Kris Andrew Small is a joyful explosion of color, typography, pattern and collage. He often takes societal issues and channels them through strong, abstract visuals. That’s not to say his work is heavy, though in fact his portfolio is utterly exuberant.

This idiosyncratic fusion of techniques and themes can be found on a number of mediums, from posters to campaigns, packaging, zines and everything in between, and has seen Kris collaborate with clients including Nike, Apple, Dazed , Die Zeit, Adidas Originals, It’s Nice That, Channel 4, WeTransfer, Reebok and more. He has also exhibited internationally at institutions such as the V&A in Dundee and MAD at The Lourve, Paris.

At the heart of his energetic and dynamic work is a message of empowerment and support for the LGBTQIA+ community, and resistance to the hyper-masculine society he experienced growing up.

He finds comfort in all facets of his identity and reality by creating and emboldens others to do the same. Inspired by Keith Haring and Jean-Paul Goude, artists who shaped his perception as a creative, he uses his practice to uplift and educate, and gives a voice to those who cannot use theirs.

Hidden within her often abstract patterns and illustrations are messages of self-acceptance and self-love, of being true to yourself and letting that guide your artistic vision.

Noah Johnson

Noah Johnson

For his fashion label ONEOFONE ARCHIVE, Noah uses second-hand clothes, fabrics and materials to create new, timeless garments.

Somebody’s trash somebody else’s treasure is pretty much what you might say and Noah hopes to continue providing people with “slow fashion” in response to fast fashion and big business overproduction/consumption .

And that’s why everything Noah does is unique.

mini swoosh

Alexandra Hackett aka Miniswoosh

Alexandra Hackett is a multidisciplinary designer in the streetwear and sportswear industries, specializing in the design of completely rebuilt and recycled products.

Her practice revolves around the process of deconstruction, exploring non-traditional fabrications and functionality.

Serwah Attafuah

Serwah Attafuah

Serwah Attafuah is a multidisciplinary artist and musician based in the land of Dharug/West Sydney, Australia. She creates surreal dreamy cyberspaces and heavenly wastelands, populated by Afro-futuristic abstractions of the self with strong ancestral and contemporary themes.

Serwah has collaborated and been commissioned by clients such as Mercedes Benz, Nike, GQ, Adobe, Paris Hilton and Charli XCX. His recent notable achievements include his participation in Sotheby’s ‘Natively Digital’: an auction organized by NFT and ‘Apotheosis’: a live motion capture experience with Soft Center at the Sydney Opera House.

Roman Jodi

Roman Jodi

Throughout his diverse practice – which encompasses creative direction, fashion design (founder of Jody Just, co-founder Umi Nori), marketing consultancy as well as object-based work – Roman Jody credits his signature aesthetic to his indoor existence and worship of subcultural movements as a teenager growing up in Sydney.

Jody’s work is grounded in design thinking, an approach he developed during an academic and professional journey in New York, earning a BBA in Strategic Design and Management from Parsons School of Design as a major in spring 2018 class.

Sonny day

Sonny day

Sonny Day is an Australian artist living in Orange in West Central New South Wales.

He has been a practicing artist for 25 years and a member of WBYK, a design and illustration studio with his wife Biddy.

Her work focuses on the classics, sex, death and current events. He has a deep love for music and sport, both of which are reflected in his work.

Sonny is represented in Australia by China Heights

Nike Savvas

Nike Savvas

Nike Savvas is an Australian artist based between Sydney and London. A painter by training, she works across scale and materials making numerous large-scale installations for the Toi Art Te Papa Wellington NZ, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Auckland Art Gallery NZ, Australian Center for Contemporary Art, Melbourne; Camden Arts Centre, London; Artspace Sydney, IMA Brisbane, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Leeds Art Gallery, UK and Southbank Center in London.

Drawing inspiration from a variety of sources, from Op Art to kitsch, his work often combines painstakingly crafted detail and complex mathematical algorithms – drawing attention to both the tangible and the abstract. Her objects and installations often invite the viewer to participate in the active experience of her work, physically shifting, repositioning and refocusing their gaze, in order to unveil ever-changing facets of the works. His art is never quite ‘steady’, rather Savvas creates enticing, fluctuating objects that captivate and mesmerize the eye and the mind.

Nike Savvas

Content room

In addition to the artworks, the NBA Gallery will also have a featured content room, which will show the latest NBA web series – “Ingrained”, created by Matthew Adekponya.

About Dora Kohler

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