• Amber Boardman, Trophy Melt, 2022, oil on canvas 152 x 183cm. Image courtesy the artist

  • Abdullah M. I. Syed, Forbidden Fruits, 2012 to 2018. Photo Mahmood Ahmed

  • Lyndal Irons





Friday, 9 December 2022 - 10:00am to Sunday, 26 February 2023 - 5:00pm

A new exhibition at Manly Art Gallery & Museum brings together a diverse group of artists to create works that reflect on the role sporting activities play in our lives.  The works presented in the exhibition are meant to expand the audience’s appreciation of their favourite sports and highlight the possibility to better understand ourselves and our cultures through a unique perspectives on the sports we as Australians love so much.

There is a myth that sport and art are natural enemies, as exemplified by the ongoing debate about the allocation of public funding by governments at all levels in Australia. Fair Play seeks to bridge the gap between these two forms of cultural production and to demonstrate that they both empower us to express ourselves physically, emotionally and intellectually, enabling us to connect and communicate with each other around the world — across borders, cultures, languages, and generations. The exhibition is intended to create a deeper discourse on the role of sports and their connection to arts and to ourselves.

The artists selected for this exhibition work in multi-disciplinary and experimental art practices and use sport motifs as metaphor to inspire the viewer to reflect on the broader social issues that confront contemporary society.  Issues such as post-colonialism, environmentalism, belonging, masculinity, and mental health.

In addition to the selected artist’s works, the curator has selected works from MAG&M’s collection of paintings, ceramics, and sporting paraphernalia, to encourage the viewer to further consider the fundamental roles of sports and art.

Fair Play’s exhibiting artists are Billy Bain, Amber Boardman, Michael Garbutt & Sehar Naz Janani, Rew Hanks, Lyndal Irons, Kellie O'Dempsey, Ben Rak, Abdullah M.I Syed, and Gerry Wedd.

Talks & Events

Exhibition Preview MAG&M Society & Volunteers Fri 9 Dec, 10am - 11am. Free event. RSVP via MAG&M Society Eventbrite

Exhibition Opening Fri 9 Dec, 6 - 8pm. Free event. RSVP via MAG&M Eventbrite

Artists in Conversation Sat 10 Dec, 3 - 4pm. Free event. RSVP via MAG&M Eventbrite

One on One: Amber Boardman Sun 15 Jan, 2 - 4pm. Free event. Book via email

Clay Character: Billy Bain Wed 18 Jan, 10am - 12pm. Book via MAG&M Eventbrite

The Playful Eye: Michael Garbutt Mon 6 Feb, 10am - 1pm. Free event, bookings required via MAG&M Eventbrite

Experimental Animation Workshop: Kellie O’Dempsey Thu 23 Feb, 6 - 9pm. Book via MAG&M Eventbrite


Manly Art Gallery & Museum
West Esplanade Reserve
Manly NSW 2095
Map of Fair Play

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