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CUT N POLISH — the best and most fun art market in Sydney

CUT N POLISH, hosted by Sydney’s Carriageworks, is a one day art market event featuring a wide range of artists. Lionel Bawden was just one stand-out.

CUT N POLISH — the best and most fun art market in Sydney

Among the many fabulous artists at CUT N POLISH at Carriageworks’ Blacksmith’s Workshop was the indomitable Lionel Bawden. The darling of the sculpture collecting art world, Bawden prefers his side hustle of totally hand-made t-shirts: “They are unique stencils, so each is a one-off that anyone can afford,” says Bowden, who was delighted to see two of his MAKE LOVE IN THE SUNSHINE t-shirts crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Pride day.

Not only are his works affordable, they are also designed to make people smile with text that is specific to his queer culture such as Sissies from Hell, which quotes David Wojnarowicz, Miss Represented, Young Queers Change the World and I Carry Trace Elements of You Inside Me, which speaks to Bawden’s sense of the subconscious tribal and communal relationships of family and friends, lovers and colleagues.  

Bawden is just one of the 140 artists dealing their wares from car boots and Combies! Indeed, the high-energy, one-day car boot sale featuring rising stars to award-winning practitioners, CUT N POLISH provides visitors and collectors the opportunity to meet artists, support their practices and purchase works in a ‘cash and carry’ model with all proceeds going straight to artists. Last year every artist was successful — not bad for a first go!

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Moreover, the event allows visitors to directly engage with artists and the rare opportunity to purchase unique artworks from the artists’ back catalogues, side projects, and new offerings.

Expect a diverse range of artworks across varying media including ceramics, paintings, clothing, and jewellery, with prices to cater to all budgets. The event featured a host of impressive highlights, such as a captivating pop-up portrait studio by renowned painter Lara Merrett and photographer Hugh Stewart. Visitors immersed themselves in a mesmerizing virtual reality experience by Tactical Space Lab. Participating artists and collectives include Studio A, Belem Lett, Zanny Begg, Kieran Butler, Tiles Lewisham, Sanné Mestrom and Shirlow St Studios among others.

In addition to the art, there featured pop-ups by Atomic, StrangeLove, and Orlando and an impressive lineup of food options including the unmissable AP Bakery, Broomfields, Single O, and Kepos Street Kitchen.

CUT N POLISH is an artist-run project by Consuelo Cavaniglia, Jonny Niesche and Brendan Van Hek, hosted at Carriageworks.


Jacquie Manning

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