Surry Hills Festival launches bold new art project

26 September 2017

Mother Nature pulled out all the stops last Saturday, putting on a glorious day for the annual Surry Hills Festival.

About 50,000 people descended on Ward Park, Devonshire St, Crown St and Shannon Reserve in the heart of Surry Hills to enjoy a stunning feast of food, art, live music and activities.

This year’s festival also marked the launch of Double Take, an arts program featuring projections and pop up installations at 38 locations through the heart of Surry Hills.

The works created by more than 60 artists will light up Devonshire Street and surrounds between dusk and 10pm each night to 15 October.

Inviting the community to see the suburb in a different light, the site specific projection art and immersive experiences form a curated trail to be explored and enjoyed.

Featured projections include Double Circus by Esem Projects, which pays homage to the Wimbo Park Circus which was permanently housed on Bourke Street in the early 1900’s.  

She Swallowed the Sky is an animation written and illustrated by Askiew and follows a female character who is walking the city alone.  

The quirky Kitten Wall invites audiences to join in creating an enormous wall of colourful cats, while Mindz Brainplay gives curious visitors a chance to see their brain’s neuronal activity and move objects with their thoughts using an EEG headset. 

ALTRAC Light Rail hosted a stand at the Surry Hills Festival on Saturday, giving visitors a chance to ask questions and chat with the team about light rail design and construction.

They were also given a glimpse back in time with a range of heritage items uncovered during construction of the CBD and South East Light Rail on display for the community to check out.

These included an arrow stamp brick from the 1820s, ceramic plates and cups, glass and ceramic bottles, a cooking pot, toy wheel, decorative teapot, ink bottle and a decorative smoking pipe bowl.

Heritage consultant Jayden van Beek was on hand to answer questions from curious community members about these intriguing items.

“It was great to meet people at our festival stall and share with them the background to the fascinating items from early settlement life in Sydney that we have found during light rail construction,” he said.

“There was particular interest in some of the items we had recovered from Ward Park itself, including an old Vaseline jar and cooking pot from the remains of the old Royal Arms Hotel.”

Transport for NSW worked closely with the Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre, the Surry Hills Creative Precinct to ensure the festival’s smooth and safe running.

A Double Take program and self-guided map can be found on the Surry Hills Festival website.