Art & About Sydney is a collaborative arts festival which sees both the artist and the general public use the city as a canvas for creation and story telling.
This dynamic annual festival, now in its 11th year, is produced by City of Sydney Events.
The journey started in 2002 and each year the festival continues to expand and evolve through new partnerships with artists and organisations.
- The first Sydney Life Exhibition, then called Sydney Looking Forward, showed us our city in striking large – scale photographs hung in Hyde Park. Curated by Sandy Edwards the exhibition featured work from Paul Blackmore, Emil Goh, Trent Parke and Anne Zahalka.
- The inaugural Open Gallery, now called The Banner Gallery, featured 20 works from emerging artists, selected by a curatorial panel consisting of Bronwyn Bancroft, Max Cullen, Akira Isogawa & David Lennie.
- The Ranamok Art Glass Prize was our first associated event, a partnership that has continued over our 10-year history.
- Sculpture in the City, curated by Stellla Downer and presented by Sculpture By the Sea, transformed Martin Place with works from emerging and established artists.
- US artist Kurt Perschke brought his RedBall Project to Sydney, a giant mobile red ball that appeared in different locations throughout the city centre.
- Exciting new works from David Griggs, Brook Andrew, Guan Wei, Mikala Dwyer, Noel McKenna & Robyn Stacey featured on city street banners in Open Gallery curated by Anne Loxley.
- The success of Sydney Looking Forward inspired Art in the Park, a day of talks and workshops featuring Art & About artists.
- RE_SQUARED, a structural installation and live audiovisual performance by Cicada was held in Australia Square.
- Art & About’s first performance piece, Singing For That Country, featured plenty of bright paint, shoes, polka dots and soundscapes. The multimedia work from Aku Kadogo and Tree Guyton appeared in Sydney Park, Redfern and Waterloo.
- Lindy Lee’s banner of her 14-year-old mother featured in Open Gallery, and was later installed in Beijing.
- Redfern Banner Art Project, created by an art therapy collective run by the Aboriginal Medical Service, was exhibited outside the Redfern Neighbourhood Centre at Lawson Square.
- Houses of the Future, six cutting edge homes built from steel, timber, clay, concrete, cardboard and glass was exhibited at Sydney Opera House forecourt.
- More than 3000 people painted thongs as part of Thonglines, an enormous installation presented by Philippa Playford at Customs House Square.
- The inaugural Danks Street Festival celebrated a new Sydney hub of art, design and food.
- Abandoned cars became art in Sydney Square, with CarScape bringing artists and inner city residents together to turn the shells of cars into brilliant murals.
- Art & About held its first free public launch in Customs House Square to coincide with the unveiling of The Face of Sydney, a year long project that created digitally layered composite images from portraits of local residents. These images were projected onto the AMP Building.
- Art & About @ Customs House Square featured installations by Jasper Knight, Adam Constenoble, Louisa Dawson, Amber Rowe and Mays Lane, and was curated by James Gulliver Hancock.
- Martin Sharp’s Thousand Dollar Bill & Yayoi Kusama’s Stars Infinity featured alongside Robert Macpherson’s Australia in an Open Gallery that brought local and international artists together, curated by Barbara Flynn.
- Large-scale photographs of local residents featured on billboard-sized banners along Glebe Point Road in Facing Glebe.
- A launch party in Customs House Square marked the opening of Sydney Child’s Eye 2030, a collaboration with Red Room, featuring children’s paintings of their city of the future, projected onto AMP and Customs House.
- Barbara Flynn curated The Banner Gallery for the second time, with works from Louise Hearman, David Griggs, Paddy Bedford and Del Kathryn Barton.
- The first laneway project (Live Lanes) was produced by City of Sydney with a bar and music venue in Bulletin Place, a new outdoor gallery wall in Albion Place and an installation in Temperance Lane.
- Art & About launched in Taylor Square with a focus on highlighting the cultural history of this precinct.
- Love TV, a live, unpredictable and frequently very funny TV studio by Rebecca Macintosh was installed in Taylor Square.
- Oxford Street’s history as an emerging rock n roll scene in the 60s, 70s and 80s was retold through the Rock N Roll Walk of Fame and Shame tour and podcast.
- The laneway program expanded to five lanes in 2008 and became known as By George. The program featured Adam Norton’s Tank Project, Firstdraft’s Downtown, Gaffa Gallery’s One More Go One More Go, Reef Knot’s The Sky is Falling and Albion Place by Peleton.
- Erskineville residents make clay horses as part of Annie Kennedy’s The Stables, Art & About’s first Village Art Project.
- The Banner Gallery featured the work of NSW Indigenous artists: Milton Budge, Adam Hill, Aunty May Hinch, Warwick Keen, Roy Kennedy, Gordon Syron, Harry Wedge, Graham Davis King, Frances Belle Parker and Elaine Russell. Curated by Djon Mundine and presented in association with Campbelltown Arts Centre.
- The launch in Hyde Park attended by over 3000 people opened with an Aboriginal Smoking Ceremony.
- The laneway program expanded to eight laneways. Curated by Dr Steffan Lehmann the installations explored themes of collaboration, sustainability and the changing nature of public space.
- The Village Art Project was held in Kings Cross, with Reef Knot presenting I Heart KX, a guerrilla knitting installation involving weekly knit-in workshops.
- The Live Green House was installed in Taylor Square, with sustainable living workshops, demonstrations and talks.
- The final Danks Street Festival was produced by City of Sydney.
- 100 portraits of Sydneysiders were on display for The Banner Gallery, with John Kaldor as artistic adviser and Louise Hawson as photographer.
- A 12-metre high Penny Farthing known as The Bike Bike was created by Alasdair Nicol in Martin Place.
- Eight of the City’s public art statues were reimagined by established and emerging artists including Ken Done, Liane Rossler, Bronwyn Bancroft and Linda Jackson, in Sydney Statues, directed by Michelle McCosker.
- ArtPark, a weekend of art in Hyde Park, included film screenings, video art, a pop up palette gallery and Crafternoon by Object Gallery.
- Friday Night Live launched the festival with live music and a bar in Martin Place and buses shuttling people to the installations across the city and cultural institutions staying open late for the party.
- The Banner Galley featured the replies of 100 people from across Australia to the question – what if?
- Tsunami 1.26. a gigantic aerial net installation by acclaimed American artist Janet Echelman was installed above the intersection outside Town Hall.
- For the 24th Kaldor Public Art Project in partnership with Art & About, Michael Landy, one of Britain’s best known artists, created Acts of Kindness for Sydney.
- The Laneway Art program continued to evolve, with seven projects presented by Australian artists and curators including Barry McGee, Brook Andrew and Magda Sayeg.
- Happy Talk, an initiative started by Liane Rossler and Heidi Dokulil installed a pavilion made from timber pallets in Hyde Park which was home to talks and workshops exploring the inventive and resourceful ways Pacific Island communities approach design.
- For the first time Art & About held Little Sydney Lives, a photographic exhibition and competition for kids aged 3 – 11 years with delightful results, alongside the popular Sydney Life exhibition in Hyde Park.
Art & About Sydney 2012 is bigger and better than ever, and we hope you enjoy this year’s program.