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.

If you would like to be notified about upcoming UNSW Library exhibitions, join our mailing list.

Current exhibitions

Sonus Maris

Level 5 Exhibition Space, UNSW Main Library

Sonus Maris is an exhibition navigating the intersections between art and science emerging from an ongoing collaboration between artist Dr. Nigel Helyer and water engineers and scientists at the UNSW Water Research Laboratory (WRL). The exhibition features audio-visual media reinterpreting data which charts the unique dynamics of intermittently closed and open lakes and lagoons (ICOLLs) along the NSW coastline.

The Lawyers of the Uluru Statement

UNSW Law Library

This exhibition tells the story of the Regional Dialogues and First Nations Constitutional Convention in 2016-2017 that resulted in the Uluru Statement from the Heart and highlights to work of the UNSW Indigenous Law Centre.


Upcoming exhibitions

Love. Respect. Pride.

UNSW Main Library

In celebration of Sydney WorldPride, Level 3 of UNSW Main Library will feature a vibrant display of colourful paintings, sculptures, photographs, collages, and prints by queer-identifying (LGBTIQ+) artists from the UNSW Art Collection. Through their respective practices, the artists in Love. Respect. Pride. explore queer perspectives, aesthetics, and narratives around identity, sexuality and queer love.


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.


Past exhibitions

Ex Libris: 20th Century Australian Bookplates

From 5 December 2022 to 30 January 2023

This selection of bookplates was sourced from the UNSW Library Special Collections. Displays explored the work of artists Adrian Feint and George David Perrottet, noted bookplate collector P. Neville Barnett, and Australian Ex Libris societies and clubs.


From 12 September to 18 November 2022

The UNSW Wicked Collective invited students, staff, and researchers across the ADA Faculty to submit creative responses and interventions to one or more of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in relation to the wicked problem of Climate Change. Voting in People's Choice Award closes Sunday 23 October.

Trophy Dreams

From 30 May to 30 August 2022

Trophy Dreams is a multi-artform interactive exhibition by artists from Studio A, Sydney's leading studio for artists living with intellectual disabilities. The exhibition includes new works specially commissioned for UNSW.

Where are you from?

From 14 February to 12 May 2022

Students and staff share personal stories of what it is like to experience the question 'Where are you from?' in a mostly white Australia.

Peoples and Landscapes in Motion: from Silk Roads to Australia

Online Exhibition

This online exhibition presents artworks of four eminent Australian artists showcasing the diversity of humanity and geography along the ancient Silk Roads.

About closed doors: isolation and art

From 21 May 2021 to 3 February 2022

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

Mental Health and me

Online Exhibition

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

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

From 2 December 2020 to 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

From 14 October to 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

From 13 November 2019 to 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

From 27 November to 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

From 23 September to 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

From 20 May to 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

From 25 February to 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

From 11 to 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.


From 8 to 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

From 13 August to 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

From 23 April to 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

From 15 December 2017 to 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.


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

Contact Us