Get ready for backyards, quarter acre blocks, milkbars, armchairs and trolleys!

Get ready for backyards, quarter acre blocks, milkbars, armchairs and trolleys!

From home-delivered theatre performances in private living rooms, to Sydney’s happiest backyard party in Martin Place, Art & About Sydney 2014 is set to excite and delight.

With a program boasting works from the quirky to the quintessentially Australian, local and international artists will present works that explore the festival theme of ‘endangered’ from 19 September to 12 October.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the 13th Art & About festival contains a unique three week program of works that will surprise and delight the city.

“This program of artworks and performances provides great insights and reflections on our rapidly changing society. I invite everyone to come and enjoy the wonderful things on offer.”

Friday Night Live – Quarter Acre Block Party

Once a staple of Australian life, the City of Sydney is bringing back the quarter acre block to the centre of Sydney for one night only. The 2014 Art & About Sydney launch will be a celebration of this diminishing past and all it stands for – evoking memories of our own backyards and neighbourhoods.

Martin Place will be transformed into a giant backyard – a welcoming and relaxed ‘block party’, featuring entertainment, quality food and drinks and a great place to begin your festival adventure. BBQs, Hills Hoists, back fences, lawn cricket, garage bands, garden furniture, vinyl records, beer and snags….all slap bang in the middle of Sydney’s CBD.

Australian Life

For the first time, the former Sydney Life photo competition and exhibition is going national. The Australian Life exhibition in Hyde Park will display large scale images depicting life across the nation.  The $10,000 competition winner will be announced at the Art & About 2014 opening night.

Little Sydney Lives

The always-popular Little Sydney Lives photo competition is back, displaying a selection of images from our smallest citizens, set amongst the greenery of Sandringham Gardens.

Entries for Little Sydney Lives, Australian Life Exhibition & Prize and a new $5,000 Instagram competition (#australianlife) are now open – see the website for details and online entries.

The Banner Gallery – Milk Bar

Passiona, a mix bag of lollies, a milkshake – Australia’s much-loved Milk Bar is back, with images of this fading icon by photographer Eamon Donnelly emblazoned on our city banners during Art & About Sydney. The changing landscape of our beloved bars was born out of The Island Continent by Eamon Donnelly, an online archive capturing the colour, nostalgia, fashions, design and people across our country.

Neon Nomads

Ten three-metre-high tepees in Hyde Park will illuminate the works of some of Australia’s and the world’s most respected graphic artists. The designs, by artists including Wendy Red Star, Phil James and Brett Chan, will pay homage to nomadic lifestyles and urban lifestyles.


An outdoor photographic studio set up outside the Queen Victoria Building will invite strangers to come together for old school style group photos as part of Us. Created by James Dive and The Glue Society, each participant will receive a copy of the photo.

The Walking Neighbourhood

Kids will turn the tables and take adults on a tour of city streets, providing a rare glimpse into their world. Taking the reins, kids guide adults on a 90-minute curated tour of Kings Cross and Redfern, sharing their thoughts and experiences of the ‘hood.

Bodies in Urban Spaces

Under the direction of Austrian artist Willi Dorner, 20 human bodies will cram themselves into doorways, alcoves and any gap they can find in the CBD. Dressed in brightly coloured clothes, the audience will spot them in all sorts of nooks and crannies for the festival finale.


Best described as part dance performance, part ballet, part outdoor spectacle, Trolleys is a 20 minute outdoor high-energy theatre work where street dancers and acrobats come together with the humble shopping trolley to spin, glide and slide across city spaces. Created by Shaun Parker & Company, Trolleys will take over Martin Place, Customs House Square, Hyde Park and Pitt Street Mall.

Armchair Apocalypse

Jumping off the stage and into your home, Armchair Apocalypse presents three brand new lounge room theatre shows, written and performed by some of Sydney’s most exciting young writers.  Sydneysiders will be able to order these performances straight to their door and into their lounge room.

“This year, Art & About Sydney explores the endangered – the ‘at risk’, the threatened, the exposed and the risky from all perspectives,” said Art & About Sydney Creative Director, Gill Minervini.

“Art & About 2014 will bring hope to the endangered – through artists’ ability to recognise, express and act and our opportunity to immerse, engage and participate – in spaces that belong to us all.”

A diverse range of other exciting associated events will be part of the Art & About 2014 program – see for up to date details.

For more information, interviews and images, contact City of Sydney Senior Publicist, Elaine Kelly on 02 9265 9201 / or Sue Fagan, Communications Officer, 02 9246 7298 / 0420 221130 or