Thanks to the City Art program, local and international artists have populated the city with numerous sculptures, installations and other works. Some are easy to spot whilst others require a much more intimate form of observing the world around you. Regardless of the scope of the works, each one presents viewers—residents and tourists alike—with the opportunity to explore the varying depths of meaning produced and their connection to our lives. And, we reckon that they make Sydney some pretty awesome photos that you can use to pepper your social feeds.
These are just some of the Sydney installations that stopped us in our tracks, both figuratively and literally.
1. Tied To Tide, Pyrmont
It might not look like much, but Tied to Tide, by artists Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford, offers much food for thought by transforming the often overlooked movement of Sydney Harbour into a visual representation of our surroundings.
The kinetic structure, made of red ladders and counter-balanced hardwood beams, responds to the elements of wind and water and grants viewers the possibility of seeing how changes in each affect the installation: watch how high and low tide lift and sink the beams and how the wind blows the ladders back and forth. Let yourself be hypnotised by the pendulum-like sway.
📍 Pirrama Park, 22-24 Pirrama Road
2. The Distance Of Your Heart, CBD
A bird in flight often reminds us of freedom, of endless possibilities, of travel and wanderlust. But a bird alone, perched on a rooftop ledge, encompasses another feeling, one that is often difficult to put into words.
Tracey Emin’s installation of 67 bronze-bird sculptures aspires to capture the feeling of distance and homesickness, of finding yourself in another place and thinking of home, one which many Australians and visitors to Sydney can imagine.
Though absence makes the heart grow fonder, the distance separating us from the ones we love is often painful. As such, the birdbath located in Macquarie Place Park, and inscribed with the title of the installation, invites people from all walks of life to take a photo and send it to wherever in the world they have a loved one.
The little bronze sculptures, measuring about the same size as a sparrow, can be spotted from Bridge St to Macquarie Place Park.
📍 Bridge Street to Macquarie Place Park
3. High Water, Green Square
Designed by Sydney-based design studio Lightwell and artists Indigo Hanlee and Michael Thomas, High Water is a continuation of their work reflecting the ever-changing spirit of the environment.
High Water is a visual installation that transforms live data from local weather patterns into continuously evolving watercolours displayed on a 9m LED screen.
Access the visual record here or go see for yourself the representation of our changing climate.
📍 Green Square Plaza, between Ebsworth St and Botany Rd
4. Barlow Street Forest, Haymarket
In the middle of Sydney you can find a forest. With over 30 species belonging to the critically endangered eastern suburbs banksia scrub, it is home to sugarbag stingless native bees and acts as a reminder of the 5,300 hectares of scrub that once stretched between Botany Bay and North Head.
📍Barlow Street, between Pitt and George Street
5. Halo, Chippendale
Central Park in Chippendale is home to a number of beautiful sights and one of our favourites has to be art installation, Halo by Jennifer Turpin and Michaelie Crawford.
At the heart of Central Park, the giant yellow halo between the iconic heritage buildings of the old Kent Street Brewery rotates with the wind mimicking the stirring motion of the large beer brewing vats. The 12-metre diameter ring atop the 13-metre pole is a sight to see as it goes round and round.
📍Central Park, Chippendale
Sydney art installations
The City of Sydney has more than fifty art installations scattered about the city and its streets, from light works to sculptures and interactive pieces that play with the environment, illuminate laneways and tell stories. You can find them all around the city or on the City of Sydney website.