The Australian way of doing things has always been about the private life – the quarter acre block in the suburbs, Sunday afternoon around the barbecue.
But it was the public life that drew me to the city.

Greek families stopping on their front steps and chatting with neighbours, people out at the park with their dogs, friends meeting for coffee.

Now everyone is doing it. Heading off to gigs, rolling by on their bikes, pushing prams, snapping photos or just enjoying being outside.

This spring, Art & About Sydney celebrates private lives and public places. There’s dance in children’s playgrounds, giant colourful snails in unexpected places, an installation of mirrors revealing Hyde Park in new ways, and even an airing of our dirty laundry in bus stops and shelters.

Sydney Life is back, with emerging and established photographers capturing our city in surprising ways, and Little Sydney Lives reveals Sydney from the perspective of some of our youngest artists.
Earlier this year, Sydney residents, workers and visitors had their say on how to encourage culture and creativity in Sydney.

The ideas ranged from encouraging more live music on the streets with pop-up gigs for up and coming musicians to opening up affordable spaces for artists to create and present their work.

We are now developing a cultural policy to help our local creative communities flourish. Alongside those community consultations, we are meeting with artists, reviewing galleries, theatres and other performance spaces in and around our City, and drawing inspiration from some of the great cultural cities.

Art & About is a joyous celebration of our city’s creativity. It’s an invitation to get out and look at our public spaces in a new way. I hope you take it up.

 Signature of the Lord Mayor Clover Moore



In private, we can be anyone, do anything, and say whatever we like – but the self we parade for the world to see can be a different being…

This year, Art & About Sydney explores Private Lives…Public Places with some very private moments on show in very public locations.

Our desires, phobias, anxieties and hopes are integral to art and creativity, and across our City, you’ll discover works that explore the boundaries between the public and the private, as artists from all over the world engage with these universal ideas in a diverse and eclectic way. It’s an exciting program and one that reveals so much about our city and the people who live here.

Art & About Sydney wouldn’t be possible without the artists, curators, City staff and our event partners. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in creating such a wonderful event.

I hope you enjoy the festival and feel inspired to shout out a few secrets of your own.