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6 pics: Rafaela Pandolfini shares a glimpse into her creative world

From the best gelato in Redfern to a hot night out, the artist shares some of her favourite places and artists in Sydney.

Traditionally beautiful pictures don’t do it for artist and photographer Rafaela Pandolfini. Establishing her photography career amid the haze and steam of Sydney’s club culture, Pandolfini realised hero shot commissions for 2-second turnaround digital publishers aren’t her thing. In contrast to the sweepingly epic, she prefers the intimate and the missable – like simple hand gestures on the dance floor.

Pandolfini’s interest in poetic movement sees her documenting performance works for artists and institutions across Australia. She also organises exhibitions, bringing together local and international artists working within the shimmering nexus of music, club culture, art and fashion.

Drawn to working outside traditional art institutions, Pandolfini’s recent exhibition, An Unintended Consequence (of Labour), was framed within the Downing Centre’s window boxes. The Downing Centre is the cream brick building on the corner of Elizabeth and Liverpool streets with the gloriously yolk-coloured trimmings. It houses 7 levels of law courts.

“I feel like there are so many untapped and very visible places in Sydney and the Downing Centre is one of them,” she said. “I was on the waiting list for the space 3 years”.

Another untapped, very visible space Pandolfini loves is the chain of 24-odd art deco arched window boxes in the tunnels around St James train station. Pandolfini staged An ode to the nightlife there in 2016.

We asked Pandolfini to share a glimpse of her world. Below, she shares snapshots of local art that’s exciting her, a favourite haunt, and one memorable evening. If you feel like transporting yourself somewhere less ordinary and more otherworldly right now, take a peek while listening to one of Pandolfini’s latest mix favourites: Slime.

Credit: Rafaela Pandolfini

“Pictured is one of my favourite artists and regular collaborator, Ainslie Templeton. In this image she’s performing in the third instalment of the wonderful 2018 Real Real series at Campbelltown Arts Centre. I must also mention Brian Fuata. He’d have to be one of the most incredible artists in Sydney today. His performances are always packed out. He layers humour, literature and profound ghostly commentary so beautifully. He’s a genius.”

Credit: Rafaela Pandolfini

“This is our favourite local haunt and - I believe - the best gelato in town: Ciccione and Sons in Redfern. We go together at least once a week and Rozsa, my daughter, always chooses the best flavour.”

Credit: Rafaela Pandolfini

“This was a most memorable night: Asmara, a DJ from LA, played at GoodGod for Vivid in 2016. I included this image in my exhibition An ode to the nightlife. The closure of GoodGod, and the departure of Jimmy Sing and Hana Shimada, has left a huge hole in Sydney’s nightlife.”

Credit: Lucreccia Quintanilla

“This image is from a show I organised called Session Vessels. It was hosted in an artist run space called AIRspace Gallery. For this show I took over the whole gallery with an exhibition of ceramics, textiles, film, sound and fashion. The show comprised around 20 local and international artists. I performed a work called A minor history of the feminine where I stepped through 10 stages of my feminine.

Credit: Rafaela Pandolfini

“This image is of my recent exhibition An Unintended Consequence (of Labour) in the prominent window boxes of the Downing Centre local and district courts. The show presented new works by 6 artists exploring their diverse relationships to labour in light of recent changes to NSW laws surrounding consent and protest. Organised by me and Ainslie Templeton, the exhibition interrogated different types of labour – particularly those more complex and less understood incarnations such as domestic and bodily labour. My personal work in the exhibition was a series of 12 large textiles, text on chux cleaning cloths. It looked at phrases as well as a line from Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette.”

Credit: Rafaela Pandolfini

“This is an image of my studio in the City of Sydney creative spaces at 66 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. Having this space for the past 3 years with my partner Dom Kirkwood has really changed our lives. I like to work surrounded by many works of artists that I admire in view. Pictured: My prised Kristina by Michael Riley, Direct to the Public carpet by Mitch Cummings, Hex Sex by Shane Haseman, David by Maggie Brink, wall painting by Mary MacDougall ceramics by Ohni Blu, Kiki Ando and Simone Goran, sculpture by Koji Ryoi.”  

Rafaela Pandolfini

The artists we feature in 6 pics are part of the City of Sydney creative spaces, grants or Art & About Sydney programs.

More than 120 artists, creative businesses and cultural organisations are working from properties in our programs. What they’re creating and building is inspiring.

We believe a thriving creative community is an essential component of a vibrant, alluring city that people from near and far want to visit. And a thriving creative community doesn't just happen – a level of infrastructure and support is required. Creating an environment in which a rich cultural eco-system can flourish is our aim. We want more creatives working in the heart of Sydney.

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