Yesterday I was happy to launch the new Art & About Sydney program for this year. The new program is particularly exciting because we have refocused Art & About from an annual three week festival to an ongoing series of projects year round.
For the past 13 years we have found new ways of taking art out of the gallery and into new and different spaces during our festival. Doing this all year round allows the City to deliver projects across Sydney more often.
And as major infrastructure works commence in the city, the time is right to move from a festival format to a model that continually enables creativity in the public domain.
The program is packed with great events and projects.
The Terrace will see the Marconi Terrace on the northern side of Sydney Town Hall House transformed into a temporary live music venue and terrace bar. Near Kin Kin will be a soaring 21-metre bamboo sculpture that will stand on the forecourt of Customs House at Circular Quay. And Scratching the Surface will see large, intricate street art carved into the full face a city building.
There will also be old favourites like the Australian Life and Little Sydney Lives photographic competitions, pop-up music performances, dancing and two great immersive cinema experiences. Golden Age Cinema and Bar will take over the Goulburn Street car park to create a rooftop cinema and Andrew Boy Charlton Pool will be filled with floating dinghies from which audiences can watch Jaws.
Last year, we finalised Sydney's first-ever Cultural Policy and Action Plan in recognition of the increasing importance that arts and culture - in their broadest sense - play in Sydney's emergence as a global city that is liveable, vibrant and exciting. We created the Plan because we know that our community has a strong desire for a cultural and creative city.
Art & About's continued success is a very welcome affirmation of Sydney's love for the arts, their relevance to our daily lives, and the community's desire for creativity to be better integrated into the way we live.
Art & About brings Sydneysiders together with local and international artists in a fantastic celebration of the city's creative spirit. Events like these are critical to Sydney's economy and important in ensuring we remain a globally competitive city.
Read more on Art & About here: http://www.artandabout.com.au.
Image: An example of VHILS' artworks using building surfaces, which will be replicated in Scratching the Surface.