Australian Open 2022 Celebrates The Art Of Tennis

The Norman Brooks Challenge Cup and the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup at Oke Surfboards with the 5 surfboards that feature the work of indigenous artist Maggie-Jean Douglas (photo: Tennis Australia/Fiona Hamilton)

Australian Open Press Release, January 23, 2022

A dazzling array of art installations and music performances is bringing off-court spaces to life at Australian Open 2022, celebrating Melbourne’s status as Australia’s culture capital.

Marking 100 years since the first Australasian women’s singles Championships, the AO Art Walk at Birrarung Marr showcases portraits of 17 stand-out champions by Melbourne artist Jessica Coppet. The 1922 tournament winner Margaret Molesworth, Billie Jean King, Jennifer Capriati, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka are all featured in Coppet’s illustrations, the line drawings representing the twists and turns of life as a professional tennis player.

Proud Gubbi Gubbi artist, 21-year-old Maggie Jean Douglas, has crafted two artworks ‘Back Together’ and ‘Respect to Country,’ that depict togetherness, community, and the sights and sensations associated with Melbourne in January and February; the season known as Biderap by the Wurundjeri people.

“Maggie Jean’s illustrations recognise the significant role tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley and world No.1 Ash Barty play in the AO’s history, and are a fantastic way to share and celebrate First Nations Culture,” Tennis Australia Chief Diversity and People Officer, Anna Livingston said.

Created in consultation with Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Joy Murphy, Douglas’ artworks are displayed around Melbourne Park and feature in this year’s AO merchandise range, with proceeds going to Indigenous tennis initiatives.

Music continues to play a key role in the AO entertainment landscape in 2022 with Australian stars including Baker Boy, Jack Vidgen, Kate Ceberano, and Rob Mills and the cast of musical The Wedding Singer performing on Rod Laver Arena, while Touch Sensitive, KLP, and the Mahalia Barnes Trio join a stellar line-up of acts entertaining fans on Grand Slam Oval throughout the fortnight.

GSO has been transformed into a vast outdoor gallery featuring murals of Ash Barty and Dylan Alcott by Paink, laneway-inspired artworks by Meggs (David Hooke) and 23rd Keyand a tribute wall to the late Michael Gudinski recognising the instrumental role he played in nurturing the AO’s vibrant music scene. And, fans can buy posters of artworks by Douglas and illustrator Artist Fuchsia MacAree (Production Company : The Jacky Winter Group) at GSO pop-up gallery, Crosscourt Creative.

Behind the scenes, the AO has collaborated with local artists, florists and creatives on design installations in player areas across the site.

Wominjeka Naarm (Welcome to Melbourne) installation, inspired by Indigenous craft and weaving and brought to life by Boom Studios in consultation with Aunty Joy Murphy AOgreets players on arrival to Melbourne Park. Elsewhere they enjoy floral installations by Yarta Yarta artist Shahn Stewart, Collingwood’s xxflos and Rose Studios, and hand-painted, 20th Century-style signage by Mitch R Signs throughout the player facilities.

“We are so excited about the art throughout the AO precinct this year, “ Tennis Australia Product and Premium Experience Director Greta Cooper said.

“It’s incredible to support established artists, emerging artists, street artists and indigenous artists from Australia, and to give them a platform to show their work to new audiences from around the world.

“The team has worked so hard to curate the artworks, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the end result.”