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The Rocks Windmill Pop Up

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by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
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Lots of creative grist for this pop up windmill at The Rocks
If you've walked through Sydney's historic The Rocks recently you may have wondered what's been going on as a four storey, wooden windmill has been taking shape and stretching skyward in Kendall Lane. From 12 April to 12 May The Rocks Windmill Pop Up will be home to a range of historical and artistic activities for everyone, and most of them are free.

the rocks windmill pop up
Image from The Rocks Windmill website.

[ADVERT]The Windmill
"Why a windmill?", you might ask. While the connection between windmills and The Rocks may not seem immediately obvious, it's a fact that in the early years of Sydney's settlement windmills, those rustic, simple but efficient structures, dominated the Sydney skyline. They were in fact the skyscrapers of their age and a means to better food production for the colony. The connection is further reflected in names from the time. Both Mill Lane and Millers Point are reminders of a past where windmills were central to the life of the area.

The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, wanting to capitalise on The Rocks unique atmosphere as living, breathing history, without tipping over into kitsch, decided on the Windmill as a working and performance space that will meld the traditions of the artisan with modern-day artistry.

the rocks windmill pop up
The Windmill under construction. Image from The Rocks Facebook page.

What's On
The Windmill will be home to workshops, performance, films, music and more. The program is arranged into six categories:

1) Windmill Live - Performances, screenings and interactions

Highlights include:

Bell Shakespeare presents Theatre in The Rocks: Then and Now (including scenes from Shakespeare's Henry IV and Nicholas Rowe's The Tragedy of Jane Shore
Wednesday 1 and Friday 3 May. Cost $20

Secret Music Nights are still very much a secret. Details to be revealed shortly.
Saturday nights 20 and 27 April and 4 May. Cost $10.

the rocks windmill popup, bell shakespeare
Image from the Rocks Windmill website.

2) Grist to the Mill - Workshops, demonstrations and walks

Highlights include:

Bricks on The Rocks where children can learn about how early Sydney bricks were made and create one themselves to take home.
Monday to Friday 15 to 19 April and Monday to Friday 22 to 26 April. Cost free.

ElectriCITY Sparks Maker Workshop where you will make a mini remote control system to manage electricity at home.
Saturday 11 May. Cost $25

3) Windmill Whispers - Talks and seminars

Highlights include:

Early Colonial Craft Techniques
Leathercraft - Friday 19 April. Cost free.
Basketweaving - Friday 26 April Cost free

4) Inside These Walls - Exhibitions and installations

Highlights include:

Windwork of Time - a surround sound installation.
Saturday 13 April to Sunday 12 May. Cost free.

Caretakers - the designers and builders of the windmill will be in residence at various times throughout the pop-up.

Windwork of time, the rocks windmill popup
Windwork of Time. image from The Rocks Windmill website.

5) The Wheat Exchange - Grind your own flour to take home

9am 5pm Saturdays and Sundays, plus daily during school holidays. Cost Free

6) Kids at the Mill - School holiday workshops for kids

Workshops include Discover Shakespeare, Bricks on the Rocks, Wild Crafting for Stories and the Wheat Exchange.
Various dates and times throughout school holidays. Cost free, except Shakespeare which is $7.50.

the rocks windmill pop up
Image from The Rocks Windmill website.

Essential Information

While most events are free, bookings are essential. You can access the full program and make bookings here.

You can download the full program here.

The Windmill is situated at The Rocks Square, bounded by Playfair Street, Kendall Lane and Mill Lane. Access the area map here.

More Information
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Why? It's history and artistry combined.
When: From Friday 12 April to Sunday 12 May 2013.
Where: The Rocks Square, The Rocks, Sydney
Cost: Varies. Most activities are free and bookings are essential.
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