Students viewing Sea Country and Future Life exhibitions on Level 5, Main Library.

Exhibitions program

Through the Exhibitions Program, UNSW Library collaborates with a diverse range of partners across the University and broader community. This program creates a space for discourse in the Library and provides a venue for the Library to showcase and support the kinds of research outputs that previously didn’t have an outlet within our collections.

The Library also presents exhibitions as digital experiences through our Online Exhibitions which showcase the Library's digital collections, cultural collections held in the University and creative research outputs by UNSW academics.

Online Exhibitions

If you are interested in organising an exhibition please get in touch with the Library’s Curator, Special Collections and Exhibitions.

Current exhibitions

The Exhibition spaces in Main and Law Libraries are currently closed while stay at home orders are in place.

Mental Health and me

Online Exhibition

This online exhibition and art prize features digital art by UNSW students showcasing their unique mental health journeys.

About closed doors: isolation and art

Level 5 Exhibition Space, Main Library

Curated by Master of Curating and Cultural Leadership students, this exhibition brings together artworks made by 11 UNSW students during the 2020 lockdown.


Past exhibitions

For information about exhibitions presented in 2019, view the UNSW Library Exhibitions Program and Public Art: 2019 Year in Review. 9.3MB

UNSW Library Unstacked

Online Exhibition

UNSW Library Unstacked is a live data visualisation that displays and interprets usage of the UNSW Library collection in real-time, communicating the scale, breadth and depth of library research activity that is otherwise invisible.

Performing Sydney

2 December 2020 - 14 May 2021

With story, data analysis and visualisation by Dr Jonathan Bollen (Senior Lecturer, School of Arts and Media), this exhibition maps the story of theatres in Sydney over the last hundred years.

Worlding With Oysters: Sarah Jane Moore

14 October - 13 November 2020

In this exhibition, presented in the Main Library Exhibition Space and online, Dr Sarah Jane Moore asks us to listen to the Bandangi - the Sydney Rock Oyster. This dialogue between art and science opens up a space to embrace Indigenous knowledge, understandings and wisdoms, where the revitalisation of cultural practices is a call to arms to care for Sea Country.

UNSW: 70 years

13 November 2019 - 27 May 2021

UNSW Sydney celebrated its 70th year in 2019 and this exhibition, a collaboration between UNSW Library and UNSW Archives, features archival material that captures the University's humble beginnings in 1949 to the expansive multidisciplinary institution we know it as today.

Strong and Powerful: Remembering the Age of AIDS

27 November - 13 December 2019

This exhibition presents posters and ephemera drawn from personal collections that capture the community-lead response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic during the 1980s and 90s in Australia. These personal and collective voices continue to shape the Australian understanding of HIV/AIDS and together reveal the enduring impact and memory of this public response within the affected communities.

Photography, Race and Slavery: African Sitters of Qajar Era Iran

23 September - 14 November 2019

Curated by Dr Pedram Khosronejad, this exhibition traces the somewhat unexplored history of African slaves in Iran during the Qajar dynasty and looks at the unique role of the camera in Iranian royalty from the 1840s to the 1930s. The exhibition is presented as part of the Silk Roads @ UNSW Seminar Series.

Sea Country: Yolngu Bark Paintings in the UNSW Art Collection and Gangaagundi Guunuwaygan (Future Life): Recent works by Chels Marshall

20 May - 02 August 2019

These exhibitions are presented on the occasion of the 3rd Australia New Zealand Marine Biotechnology Society Conference at UNSW in 2019. They are a collaboration between The Global Water Institute, UNSW Library and the UNSW Art Collection.

In Response: Dialogues with RealTime

25 February - 25 April 2019

This exhibition marks the closure of the RealTime art magazine and the launch of its archive. RealTime was Australia’s critical guide to national and international contemporary arts from 1994-2018.

Extended Reality

11-15 February 2019

This suite of Virtual and Augmented Reality experiences, designed for the classroom, provide students with opportunities to engage with their disciplines in innovative and inspiring ways through experience-based learning.


8-25 October 2018

This exhibition showcases models and designs produced by current UNSW students working across all Built Environment disciplines.

Alun Leach-Jones: a language of his own

13 August - 19 September 2018

Alun Leach-Jones was one of Australia's best known abstract artists. This memorial exhibition celebrates an artist whose contribution through his work and teaching had a formative impact on a generation of artists and art lovers throughout Australia.

Max Dupain: the architecture of UNSW

23 April - 31 May 2018

A decade after its foundation in 1949, UNSW entered a period of major campus development. During this time, from 1959 to 1970, UNSW’s main photographer of record was Max Dupain – one of the leading figures in 20th century Australian photography. This exhibition is drawn from photographs collected by the University Archives from the roughly 140 jobs Dupain carried out for UNSW.

Tip of the iceberg: Works from the UNSW Art Collection

15 December 2017 - 27 March 2018

This exhibition brings together more than thirty paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures by leading Australian artists, reflecting the strengths of the University’s holdings of Australian art from the 1980s and 1990s.


Alumni mural program

Alumni mural program

Levels 2 & 3, Main Library

The UNSW Library Alumni Mural Program is a series of site-specific public artworks by UNSW alumni created for the lift foyers of the UNSW Main Library. This series is part of a broader strategy within UNSW Library to enrich the student experience by embedding art and culture throughout the Library.

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