Celebrating Public Art

The launch of Art and About 2011 on Friday 23 September celebrates the 10th anniversary of Sydney's leading public art event.

Beginning in Martin Place at 5pm with live entertainment and the announcement of the winners of this year's Sydney Life, the launch will continue at several Art & About installations throughout the City. Several leading cultural institutions will join the celebrations by staying open until 9pm. Free buses, following three separate routes, will enable people to travel between venues and individual features of Art & About.

Highlights of this year's Art & About include:

  • Tsunami 1.26. a gigantic arerial net installation above George Street near the Town Hall by American artist Janet Echelman. The work is part of the Powerhouse Museum's Love Lace exhibition;
  • The Banner Gallery which features street banners based around the question, What If?;
  • Acts of Kindness, the 24th Kaldor Public Art Project. A 13-metre installation by Michael Landy in Martin Place showing where the 200 stories of kindness have been placed throughout the city streets. Sandringham Gardens; and
  • The Happy Talk House, a pavillion built from timber pallets using traditional skills in Sandringham Gardens, Hyde Park North which will home to public art projects, talks and workshops throughout Art & About.

Sydney Life, a traditional feature of Art & About, will be joined by Little Sydney Lives for the first time. Little Sydney Lives will display 20 images of Sydney from a child's perspective on large canvases in Sandringham Gardens. The images were selected from hundreds submitted by photographers aged from three to 11.

Art & About also includes an extensive program of associated events.

The City's annual Laneway Art Program launches with Art & About and continues until the end of the 2012 Sydney Festival. The works feature international and Australian artists, several of whom have not previously worked in the public domain.

Our events staff, led by Creative Director Gill Minervini, do an amazing job every year finding new ways to bring Art & About to life. I'd like to thank them for all their hard work and late nights, turning Sydney streets and parks into art galleries.

As a prelude to Art & About, on Monday at 11am I will help launch a new public artwork by Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford called Windlines: The Scout Compass of Discovery.

The work commemorates the 2008 centenary of Scouts in Australia and was commissioned by the City and Scouts Australia and generously funded by Dick Smith and his wife Pip.

The Windlines sculpture features a five metre tall weather vane above a giant compass and map embedded in the ground at Scout Place, Circular Quay.

Windlines harnesses the power of the wind to inspire the thousands of people who walk past there everyday. Some of Sydney's most naturally beautiful areas are embedded in the 16 points of the compass, each accompanied by their direction and distance from Scout Place.

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