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Wollongong City Council

10 art exhibitions, shows and displays to look for during UCI

Monday 19 September 2022

Image: Spin Fest: Lighthouse Projections – Beyond the Breaking Waves

We’re painting a colourful Wollongong this September with a series of exhibitions, public artworks, temporary displays, and live music shows for community members to enjoy.

It’s all part of Spin Fest – Wollongong City Council’s community celebration that complements the 2022 UCI Road World Championships. From 16 to 25 September there will be plenty of opportunities for residents and visitors to take their time and soak in some of the creative energy in the lead-up to and during the great racing.

Keep a look out for inflatable artworks in the Crown Street Mall, First Nations artwork projections on the Flagstaff Lighthouse, Wollongong Art Gallery tours, and the international Big Bike Film Night.

“During the 2022 UCI Road World Championships, Wollongong’s creative heart will be on show for the world to see. Wollongong has unique cultural and artistic communities and it’s great to be able to share our stories with an international audience,” Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“For residents and visitors to Wollongong, there are many different projects and events to enjoy and take part in. Our aim with Spin Fest is to offer a diverse and exciting program that appeals to many different people, ages and interests. It’s not all about cycling, instead this is about celebrating our great city and having some well-deserved fun.

“We hope you come along and join the fun and excitement. It’s a good idea to plan your trip to Wollongong ahead of time and consider alternative transport options such as walking, cycling, catching a train or bus.”

The City of Wollongong is open for business! With so much happening in the city, now's the time to make the most of the fun and excitement during the 2022 UCI Road World Championships. Here are some tips to make your trip into the city simpler:

  • Extra train and shuttle bus services are available every day. Visit the Transport for NSW website to plan your trip.
  • On-street and off-street metered parking is available across the Wollongong CBD. Find out more.
  • Park & Ride, and Park & Walk options are available at multiple locations. Visit the Transport for NSW website for more information.
  • Road closures are staggered at different times each day to allow vehicles access as soon as possible. Check the Wollongong 2022 website for detailed information.

Top 10 exhibitions, events and displays to look out for

1. Spin Energy: Inflatable Art

We've partnered with The Beautiful and Useful Studio to design and install a collection of unique pieces, collaboratively designed through community workshops. These colourful inflatable artworks represent the ‘Spin’ energy of the races, alongside the seascapes and landscapes of the Illawarra. The pieces are gently illuminated at night.

When: Friday 16 September – Saturday 24 September (8am-9pm daily).

Read more about the project.

2. Spin Fest: Lighthouse Projections – Beyond the Breaking Waves

Wollongong's iconic lighthouse will light up for Spin Fest, as we welcome the world to Wollongong for the 2022 UCI Road World Championships. The Beyond the Breaking Waves project provides a glimpse into the unique stories, traditions and culture of First Nations artists from the Illawarra and South Coast regions.

Participating Artists: Lorraine Brown; Cheryl Davison; Julie Freeman; Alice McKenzie; Steven Russell; Jodie Stewart; Phyllis Stewart; Narelle Thomas; Val West

Beyond the Breaking Waves is curated by the Wollongong Art Gallery and produced by Electric Canvas. Artworks were drawn from Wollongong Art Gallery’s permanent collection.

When: 17 September – 24 September (6.30-10.30pm)

Find out more.

3. Spin Fest: Big Bike Film Night

Movie buffs are in for a treat, with The Big Bike Film Night Festival joining the party to serve up four fun nights of cycling cinema. Fresh from a New Zealand tour, the 2022 collection is an eclectic mix of short films celebrating the fun, inspiration and adventure of cycling, whatever you ride.

When: Monday 19 September, Tuesday 20 September,  Wednesday 21 September and Thursday 22 September.

Find out more and book your tickets.

4. Visit the Wollongong Art Gallery

There’s so much happening at the Wollongong Art Gallery during the UCI Road World Championships. Entry is free, and the Gallery will have extended opening hours of 10am-7pm daily during the Championships.

  • Free one-hour tours: Tour the Wollongong Art Gallery, one of the largest regional art museums in Australia. It has an important collection of Australian, Aboriginal and Asian art as well as exhibitions and activities that highlight the unique energy and creativity of the Illawarra region. Find out more.
  • Boundary Strider Exhibition: Join artist and curator Iain Whittaker, as he discusses the latest exhibition of contemporary visionary art by Australian and international artists at the Wollongong Art Gallery - Boundary Strider. Find out more.
  • Hiromi Tango: Healing Garden: Healing Garden (Illawarra) is part of a new series of community-engagement projects by artist Hiromi Tango. Hiromi aims to create safe, nurturing spaces that encourage creative expression and emotional transformation. Find out more.
  • Languages of the Land Exhibition: Wollongong Art Gallery will host a new exhibition: a gathering of First Nations’ voices conveying the many languages of Country - of land, of sea, of culture, of custodianship and of healing from the destructive colonial impacts on our precious environments. Find out more.
5. Spin Fest: Wollongong CBD

If you’re heading into Wollongong CBD to watch the race, re-energise in one of our Spin Fest CBD Zones. Head to Crown Street Mall or Globe Lane to grab lunch, sip a sunset cocktail, browse market stalls or enjoy roving circus performers and live music.

There's a stellar line up including local rising star Aodhan, indie pop star Abby Bella May, sunset jazz curated by Wollongong Jazz and a whole lot more.

When: Thursday 15 September – Sunday 25 September

Check out the daily program.

6. Spin Fest: ‘I Ride Wollongong’ exhibition by Sam St Jon

Local artist Sam St Jon uses documentary style photography to explore the diversity of Wollongong's cycling community. Through art, this project encourages road safety awareness by sharing the human faces of cycling.

Don't miss the chance to stop by and explore the outdoor photography exhibition in Crown Street Mall.

When: Friday 9 September to Monday 31 October 2022

Read more about this exhibition.

When: Friday 16 September, 5-9pm

Find out more about this event.

7. Spin Fest: Greenacres Outsider Artists Exhibition

Greenacres Disability Services will host the annual Outsider Artists exhibition this September. Two hundred individual art works and ceramics created by People who live with Disabilities will be displayed at Project Contemporary Artspace.

When: Thursday 14 September – 2 October.

Find out more about this exhibition.

8. Spin Fest Interactive Arts + Community Day

Stop by the Arts Precinct on Saturday 24 Sept to experience a taste of Wollongong's diverse and creative community. There's plenty of fun on offer including sculpture making, weaving, comic drawing, bike flag making, an art installation by young people from the Disability Trust concluding with a big Bollywood celebration with dancers and local rock band Electric Korma.

When: Saturday 24 September, 12noon-5pm

Check out the full Community Day program.

9. Spin Fest: Symphonie de la Bicyclette

Symphonie de la Bicyclette is a funny, heartfelt one-man show about cycling and obsession, envy and ambition, winning and losing, and finding the inner grit to dominate the mountain stages of life.

Produced by Merrigong Theatre Company, this performance has been specially programmed as a Spin Fest partner event, celebrating the 2022 UCI Road World Championships.

When: Wednesday 21 September – Saturday 24 September

Find out more.

10.  Spin Fest: Cycling in the Illawarra Photography Collection

From penny farthing bicycles to recent riders and races, explore a collection of historical photos from the Wollongong City Libraries Illawarra Images collection.

The exhibition will be on display throughout August and September during Library opening hours.

When: Saturday 17 September - Friday 30 September

Find out more about this exhibition.