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Public Art in Sydney

Home > Sydney > Outdoor | Fun Things To Do | Free | Family | Art
by Wendy (subscribe)
Art enthusiast. Loves painting, bushwalking and travels. Writing what I love sparks my passion. Sydney, Australia.
Published May 14th 2012
If you love art, but you don't have much time to visit a museum or art gallery, here are some suggestions for you. There are indeed a lot of public art and sculptures in Sydney. The public art installations can be near your home or work place but they may go unnoticed when you are in a hurry. Simply, through your observation, you'll find the real gems of public art are just around you. It won't cost you at all as they're on the street – the most accessible way to appreciate great art.

Located next to the City Recital Hall in Angel Place, you'll find the "Forgotten Songs", a public art installation which features a canopy of empty birdcages hanging in the sky. The installation was undertaken as part of the Angel Place laneway upgrade. I was particularly drawn to this installation as I could hear the bird songs from the cages; it represents the sounds of Sydney's lost birds which may have inhabited in this area before the laneway upgrade.

"Forgotten Songs", a canopy of empty birdcages hanging in the sky, are installed on the Angle Place laneway

In close proximity to Angle Place is Martin Place, which is surrounded by many heritage buildings and major art installations. Located between Pitt Street and Castlereagh Streets, the Lloyd Reece Fountain is one of the landmarks, especially it was once featured in the Matrix movie. As Martin Place is the central business hub of Sydney, it is crowded with office workers during the week, so, a visit at the weekend would be a better option to take a few nice shots of the water fountain.

The water fountain on Pitt Street was featured in the film The Matrix

Walking up to the top of the street will bring you another delight. Sitting outside the Sydney Hospital on Macquarie Street is a very unusual statue. When I first saw it, I thought it was a pig. It's not; it's a wild boar and his name is Il Porcellino. The legend of Il Porcellino is that he will bring you good luck if you rub his snout. So, make sure you rub his nose, make a wish, donate a coin, and take a photograph with him.

Il Porcellino, a wild boar, outside the Sydney of Hospital

In fact, the original Il Porcellino statue was unearthed in Rome and is estimated to be over 500 years old. So, the one you see outside the hospital is a copy of the original, which was presented to the hospital in l968 by the Marchessa Clarissa Torrigiani in memory of her father and brother, who had been renowned surgeons at the hospital.

Within a short walking distance, you will be at Museum of Sydney. Located to the right of the museum in the forecourt, you'll find the Edge of the Trees sculpture constructed with several poles made from wood, stone and steel. Installed in 1995, the sculpture is a collaborative work of an indigenous and non-indigenous artist - Fiona Foley and Janet Laurence. The steel pole injects a new era into the century-old ancient culture while traditional materials (wood, stone, hair, ochre, bone) represent indigenous heritage. While you can grasp a better view of the sculpture from a distance, you should also come close to them as some poles "speak" to you. A nearby plaque explains more about the sculpture.

Edge of Trees, Museum of Sydney Forecourt

Walking around the city to explore into the world of public art is not simply a creative activity but also an outdoor activity. As winter is setting in soon, it is a great way to stimulate your mind and exercise your body at the same time.
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Why? A great way to get yourself out to enjoy the beauty of public art. It's free.
When: Any time
Where: Various locations in CBD Sydney
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Don't forget the amazing Sydney Biennale!
by Cornelia Deller (score: 2|182) 3228 days ago
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