Transculturation Canberra-based painter Helen Tiernan’s work often explores indigenous cross-cultural interactions. In Transculturation the early colonial encounters in Australia by Europeans is drawn on with nods to various relevant historical accounts. The exhibition will be opened today by renowned historian and author Ian McLean, who Tiernan has referenced in her works. Transculturation prompts viewers to challenge present perceptions of colonial depictions of indigenous culture and indigenous identity. Cooee Art Gallery, 31 Lamrock Avenue, Bondi. Opens today. Free admission. Inquiries: (02) 9300 9233 or online. Until June 3. John Olsen: The You Beaut Country This exhibition surveys John Olsen’s remarkable sevendecade career, including paintings, ceramics, tapestries and works on paper from collections across Australia. It features some of his most well known and arresting works, including large-scale paintings of Sydney Harbour and Lake Eyre and his career-defining landscape series The You Beaut Country. Olsen is renowned for his energetic painting style and his lyrical depictions of the Australian landscape and its life forms. The exhibition traces the development of his spectacular and idiosyncratic vision, highlighting his lifelong interest in the natural world and his continued pursuit to capture the Australian identity. Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney. Tickets: $8-$40. Bookings: (07) 3846 4444. Until June 12. Semi-Permanent This three day festival, part of the Vivid Ideas program, presents a plethora of innovative design foreseen to ultimately play a role in the future of our lifestyles under the theme Design for Change. Major brands including Google, Netflix, Pixar and Amazon, alongside a variety of notable local architects and designers will come together in this festival of creative thinking. The line-up also includes Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, director of Sydney’s Museum Contemporary Art Australia; Katherine Keating, publisher for Vice Impact; Nike design director Meirion Pritchard; and others. Semi-Permanent will also include creative workshops curated by the National Institute of Dramatic Art and Hyper Island and is part of the Vivid Ideas program. Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Sydney. May 25 to 27. Tickets: $340-$765. Bookings: (02) 8571 9099 or online. Mr Burns: A Post-Electric Play Set in the near future, Mr Burns depicts the US in ruin. The grid has shut down, the nuclear power plants are suppurating radiation and the luckless survivors gather in tiny bands. People sit around makeshift campfires talking and trying to remember stuff from before the end times, like old episodes of The Simpsons. Gradually they recall scraps of dialogue, plot sequences, signature catchcries and the entwined esoterica of intertextual cultural references. It is funny when a group reconstructs the Cape Feare episode. They end up forming a company of players, competing with rival troupes, performing inaccurately reconstructed versions of Simpsons folios that might have been. Belvoir Theatre, 25 Belvoir Street, Surry Hills. Opens May 19, 8pm. Tickets: $37-$72. Bookings: (02) 9699 3444 or online. Until June 25. The Popular Mechanicals The popular mechanicals are the six artisans who give a daffy royal command performance for the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. funny any more? The Helpmann Award-winning comedian and former Triple J presenter follows his 2016 awardnominated shows The World Keeps Happening and Boundless Plains to Share with this new show, offering an evening of political conscience interweaved with comedy. Giant Dwarf, 199 Cleveland Street, Redfern. Tonight, 9.30pm and tomorrow, 8.30pm. Duration: 1hr, no interval. Tickets: $27-$32. Bookings: 13 28 49 or online.