Sydneysiders will be invited to air their laundry in public across the city this spring for Art & About Sydney 2013.

This year’s festival, which has the theme private lives… public places, will also feature gigantic neon snails, an illuminated maze of mirrors and a playful tribute to the humble pedestrian icon.

From 20 September to 20 October, an extraordinary line-up of international and Australian artists will transform Sydney’s streets, squares, parks and other unusual spaces with projects that encourage art lovers to go public with their secrets.

“This September we’re celebrating Art & About Sydney’s 12th year with an ambitious program that brings together local and international artists, showcasing cutting-edge installations and performances for the people of Sydney,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.

“Our theme, private lives… public places, should really provide a few surprises.”

Friday Night Live, Art & About Sydney’s free launch party in Martin Place, will feature a performance by super group The Break, made up of members of Midnight Oil, Hunters and Collectors and US rockers The Violent Femmes.

The celebration will begin at sundown, when Shaun Tan’s stunning graphic novel The Arrival is projected onto a giant screen, accompanied by a haunting live score performed by Ben Walsh’s Orkestra of the Underground.

Over the next four weeks, Snailovation by the Cracking Art Group will see 24 gigantic neon snails make their way across some of Sydney’s most iconic public spaces – including Martin Place, Hyde Park and Customs House Square.

This award-winning Italian collective has previously created turtles, meerkats, rabbits and penguins for major exhibitions including the Venice Biennale and the Miami Art Basel.
Sydneysiders will be invited to step into another world with I Think I Can, an innovative interactive installation by Performance Space and the Australian Model Railway Association.
Train enthusiasts and passersby alike will be encouraged to adopt a character that will be brought to life on a scale model railway by puppeteers, with the happenings of this imaginary town projected onto giant screens and recorded online.

Hyde Park South will become a mesmerising maze of mirrors with FIELD, a stunning outdoor artwork created by a team of New Zealand architects, Fresh Concept.

Covering a 24 metre by 24 metre area and illuminated at night, 81 posts covered with more than 400 mirrors will create an ever-changing experience for the tens of thousands of people that travel through the park each day.

In Little Lightning Stories, photographer David Adams will pay tribute to the people and places that stay the same in a city of constant development and change.

His fascinating video installation, oral history and newspaper will tell the story of The Oceanic Café, an Elizabeth Street institution that has been serving their loyal customers for more than 40 years, with 97-year-old Eleni and her 72-year-old daughter Chrisanthy at the helm.

Sydney’s street banners will be transformed into a playful collage of pedestrian traffic icons from around the world in Walking Men Worldwide.

The banners, which will feature along the city’s main roads including George and William streets, are curated by American artist Maya Barkai, whose latest project is featured at the site of One World Trade Centre in New York.

Fresh from their sold-out European tour, Australian dance company Shaun Parker and Co. will bring three inner-city playgrounds to life with SPILL, a series of interactive live performances for kids.

With six shows throughout the school holidays, SPILL will blend storytelling and music with street dance and parkour, using the play equipment at Sydney Park in St Peters, Wentworth Park in Ultimo and Victoria Park in Camperdown as its stage.

Australia’s premier outdoor photographic exhibition, Sydney Life, aims to celebrate unique perspectives of Sydney. The works of 21 finalists and the $10,000 prize winner will proudly hang along the central walkway of Hyde Park North throughout the festival.

Sydney Life’s junior counterpart, Little Sydney Lives, will also return to this year’s festival, encouraging budding snappers aged three to 11 years to share their knee-high view of Sydney. Twenty finalist works will be displayed in Sandringham Gardens.

More than 25 associated events will also be included in the program, from photography challenges and interactive installations to jewellery exhibitions and sculpture walks.

For more information, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Advisor Keeley Irvin.

Phone 0448 005 718 or email kirvin@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jonathon Larkin.
Phone 0477 310 149 or email jlarkin@cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au