The next time you're in the vicinity of where Martin Place and George Street come together, you'll be just a stone's throw away from one of Sydney's most captivating – and discrete – public art installations.
Blink twice and you'll miss it – tucked away in the Angel Place laneway next to the entrance to City Recital Hall, it's easy to bypass it on the ever-busy adjacent streets and not even realize that you missed anything worth stopping for. But if you take a few minutes to turn slightly off the beaten path, you won't be disappointed.
Entitled Forgotten Songs and designed by Michael Thomas Hill, the installation serves as a tribute to the many species of birds that used to inhabit the area where Sydney's Central Business District now stands.
The displaced species – with colourful names such as the Superb Lyrebird, the Leaden Flycatcher and the Whistling Kite – are represented by 120 birdcages that hang in the air above the laneway, accompanied by speakers that play recordings of their birdsongs day and night.
Started as a temporary exhibition in 2009, the work proved so popular that the city decided to work it into the Angel Place laneway permanently.
Right around the corner from the installation is the Ash Street laneway. Strewn with hanging lights and boasting cozy dining options such as Ash St. Cellar and Felix, it feels like a little slice of Europe - definitely worth the stop before leaving the peace and quiet of these two hidden spots to head back into the thick of the bustling CBD.
Ash Street Laneway