Customs House takes centre stage

Customs House takes centre stage

A smartphone art app, interactive light projections and spectacular satellite photos are reinforcing the credentials of Customs House as a leading location of Sydney’s vibrant creative scene.

In the coming weeks, the Circular Quay venue will showcase works by cutting-edge local and international organisations and artists as part of major festivals, including Vivid Sydney, Biennale of Sydney and Art & About Sydney.

One major highlight is the show, Spaceship Earth, a collection of stunning images of earth, taken by satellites, aircraft and GPS-enabled surveying devices. Curated by Davina Jackson, the exhibition across three levels, runs from 23 May to 20 July.

Spaceship Earth - Xian
Spaceship Earth – Digital Globe Xian

Also this month, visitors can enjoy the inaugural City of Sydney Biennale of Sydney legacy artwork – a specially commissioned twilight video walk around The Rocks by international artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller.

Experienced on a smart phone or mobile device, City of Forking Paths starts at Customs House and weaves a trail through The Rocks. Users can download the app onto their personal devices from home or borrow a mobile device for free.

Also in May, the Customs House façade will come alive with mesmerising 3D light projections and cutting-edge music as part of Vivid Sydney, the annual winter festival of light, music and ideas.

Last year’s work by French design company Danny Rose attracted more than 66,000 people over the course of the festival, and the company has been enlisted again this year to transform the building’s 19th century sandstone façade.

Spaceshop Earth - Persian Gulf Sandstorm
Spaceshop Earth – Digital Globe Persian Gulf Sandstorm

Customs House exhibition program 2014

The Biennale of Sydney Legacy Project, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
28 April–25 May
As part of the 19th Biennale of Sydney, the Legacy Project guides viewers on a twilight video tour through Sydney’s streets, accompanied by an evocative and mystical fictional narrative.

Vivid Sydney 2014
19 May–10 June
The façade of Customs House will be lit up with 3D light projections, designed by Danny Rose.

Spaceship Earth: Observing our planet from satellites
23 May–July
This cutting-edge exhibition features stunning images and videos of earth from satellites, aircraft and GPS-enabled surveying devices.

Spaceship Earth - Arctic Islands
Spaceship Earth – European Space Agency Arctic Islands

Michael Hall, The Climate Institute
A series of photographs documenting climate change by creative fellow of The Climate Institute in Australia, Michael Hall.

Bus Stop of the Future – ARC Responsive Transport Environment
A 21st century transport interaction interchange for the future. This student design project will create a responsive transport environment for the new light rail stop outside the University of NSW.

Memories of the Struggle: Australia’s Role in the Struggle for Democracy in South Africa 1960-94
Presented by the Australasian South African Alliance, this photographic exhibition will mark Australia’s role in the anti-apartheid movement.

Augmented Australia: Unbuilt Visions
Details will be announced closer to the event.

City Architectural Awards
This exhibition celebrates the architectural talent in Sydney through a series of colour photographs.

Spaceship Earth - McMurdo Station
Spaceship Earth – European Space Agency McMurdo Station

Please note: exhibition dates are subject to change.
For more information, visit
Customs House, at 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, is open from 8am to midnight on weekdays, 10am to midnight on Saturdays, and 11am to 5pm on Sundays and public holidays.

Spaceship Earth - Guinea-Bissau and the Bissagos Islands
Spaceship Earth – Digital Globe Guinea-Bissau and the Bissagos Islands

For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Jodie Minus, phone 0467 803 815 or email