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Bali Nine's Myuran Sukumaran Art To Be Exhibited In Sydney

The first major exhibition of paintings by the late artist Myuran Sukumaran will be on display as part of the Sydney Festival's Parramatta and Western Sydney program.

The exhibition, titled Another Day In Paradise, will feature a collection of Sukumaran's portraits which he painted while incarcerated in Kerobokan prison in Bali before he was executed for drug smuggling alongside fellow Australian Andrew Chan.

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There will also be a series of newly commissioned artworks by Australian artists in response to the death penalty included in the exhibition.

"I don't necessarily look forward to the haters who came out in force around the time Myuran and Andrew were executed," the exhibition's curator, artist Ben Quilty, said at the festival's launch in Sydney.

Quilty spent time mentoring Sukumaran in the Bali prison and campaigned for mercy for both Australian men in the months leading up to their deaths last year.

Sukumaran felt that art was his calling and he found solace in it towards the end of his life, according to Quilty who hopes this exhibition will draw attention to the fight against the death penalty.

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"I hope that this exhibition helps to continue the debate about how there's humanity in all of us and Myuran's last wish was that we, his friends and family, continue to fight against the death penalty worldwide," Quilty said.

The exhibition starting in January, will also mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Ronald Ryan on February 3, 1967, the last person to be legally executed in Australia.

"Myuran was very aware that the legacy that he built, which is this exhibition, would absolutely go to the core of helping Australia celebrate on the 50th anniversary of Ronald Ryan's execution that we haven't done such a disgraceful act to another human being in such a long time," he said.

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The Sydney Festival will also launch Circus City in the Western suburbs and Parramatta for ten days as it continues its radial reach to the west of the city.

Circus City will feature four shows, exhibitions and talks headlined by Canada's Cirque Eloize and iD, a blend of circus arts and urban dance.

The Western suburbs and Parramatta will also host several immersive theatrical experiences, including Home Country, a play that takes place in a multi-level car park, and an outdoor concert at The Crescent Parramatta Park by the Sydney Symphony.

*Sydney Festival Parramatta and Western Sydney runs from January 7-29

AAP

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