Newtown Art Seat

About Newtown ArtSeat

Newtown ArtSeat offers a space where experimental and non-commercial art can be showcased.

It is a permanent structure in Newtown Square that combines public seating, artwork display and lighting. The site is highly visible and exposes any artwork to thousands of passers-by each day. 

The ArtSeat has become a landmark in Newtown.

Applications open for Newtown ArtSeat!

Inner West Council is seeking local artists, cultural workers and community organisations to submit ideas for the exhibition of artworks at the Newtown ArtSeat during 2019. 

Council’s award-winning Newtown ArtSeat is a permanent structure located in Newtown Square that provides a space where experimental and non-commercial art can be showcased.  The ArtSeat is a landmark in Newtown.

The closing date is 5pm Friday, 11October 2019

Please read the Information for Applicants 2020 before applying.

Click here to apply:

What's on at the ArtSeat 

' Ritual Looking For The Enlightment'

Artist:  Jayanto Tan

5 June to 7 August 2019

image for web page

Photographer: Jayanto Tan

Artist Statement

'In your light I learn how to love ...
In your beauty, how to make poems ...
You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,
but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.' Rumi

In my art practice, I am exploring the identity politics of the diaspora in ways that express my personal experiences of ‘otherness’. I am using materials that are related to both my Asian heritage and my adapted home in Australia, which all carry specific meanings and histories that expose different senses of belonging.

In the past few years, I have created installations with folded paper and I have made a colourful paper lantern for a recent project, Ritual Looking For The Enlightenment, which I have asked people to hold while standing still. They have been photographed from behind as a silent figure in a silent landscape as an offering to the individuality of enlightenment. These installation works are part of a long journey to rediscover all the memories of personal ‘in the closet’ identity and in search for ‘coming out’.

The folding papers that I watched my mother delicately fold into Yuanbao Lanterns were the gold ingot currency of Imperial China that announced good luck and bright future. And the colours as an expression of identity that culminate in a celebration of liberation and creative freedom that proposes a bridge from past to present, from there to here, from trauma to healing and now to a diverse future not of ‘difference’ but of ‘togetherness’ in our contemporary world.

Check out more of Jayanto's work at:

Instagram jayanto_art
Facebook jayanto_art
Blogspot Jayanto Damanik Tan Art


For further information about Newtown ArtSeat, please contact Anthia Hart on 9392 5866 or email

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Page last updated: 23 Jul 2019