Walsh Bay Arts Precinct Opens to the Public
Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, Australia’s newest cultural precinct, has opened to the public following the completion of major redevelopment works on the historically significant Pier 2/3 located on the Sydney Harbour foreshore.
A premier arts and culture hub, the Precinct is home to nine of the nation’s foremost performing arts companies presenting a vibrant program of musical concerts, theatre performances and public events throughout 2022.
Walsh Bay Arts Precinct’s resident companies comprise Bangarra Dance Theatre, Gondwana Choirs, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Sydney Theatre Company and The Song Company, all located at Wharf 4/5 and at Pier 2/3, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Theatre for Young People and Bell Shakespeare.
This Autumn, the newly refurbished 1,800 square metre Pier 2/3 event and commercial space has been launched with the internationally renowned art exhibition, the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, titled rīvus, which returns to Pier 2/3 for the first time in 10 years. The exhibition at Pier 2/3, running until 13 June 2022, features 20 commissioned artworks by leading Australian and international artists who have responded to the theme of “briny” environments, where saltwater meets freshwater.
The waters of Walsh Bay Arts Precinct will also be activated for Vivid Sydney from 27 May – 18 June, as it comes alive with a 100 metre floating Light Walk, a first in Vivid’s 12 year history. Incorporating the large-scale artwork Ephemeral Oceanic, produced by Sydney-based Atelier Sisu, visitors are invited to walk under more than 200 giant, bubble-like spheres hovering eight metres in the air.
Located on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people, Walsh Bay has been a place of gathering for thousands of years. Former wool stores built between 1913 and 1920, Wharf 4/5 and Pier 2/3 are an integral part of Sydney’s history and now feature a heritage-sensitive design by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects, undertaken by Richard Crookes Construction. As the northern most operational pier at Walsh Bay, Pier 2/3 was a key ‘open berth’ location for passenger ships and following the Second World War, the wharf functioned as a migrant arrival point for new families starting their lives in New South Wales.
“With the completion of works on both Wharf 4/5 and Pier 2/3, Walsh Bay Arts Precinct is now open to the public as Australia’s newest cultural precinct with a truly unique heritage and location. Walsh Bay Arts Precinct is a place of culture and creation that is now being brought to life with performances and workshops by the nine resident companies who call it home, as well as with the presentations of the Biennale of Sydney and Vivid Sydney this Autumn.”—Sally Noonan, Precinct Manager of Walsh Bay Arts Precinct
Public Programming Highlights Presented by the Resident Companies & Others
- 22 – 24 April: Bell Shakespeare’s In A Nutshell will be presented in the company’s intimate new theatre The Neilson Nutshell with an ensemble cast exploring the best loved-moments in Shakespeare. Learn more.
- 10 May: Bell Shakespeare’s ‘Play in a Day’ performance of The Alchemist in The Neilson Nutshell. Learn more.
- 26 May: Bell Shakespeare ‘Sonnets & Semillon’ event at The Seed. Learn more.
- 23 Jun: Bell Shakespeare ‘Speak the Speech Live!’ event at The Seed. Learn more
The Australian Theatre for Young People
- 8 April – 22 May: The Australian Theatre for Young People will unveil their new Australian musical The Deb playing at The Rebel Theatre. Learn more.
- 21 Jun-17 Jul: Australian Theatre for Young People’s M.Rock at The Rebel Theatre. Learn more.
The Australian Chamber Orchestra
- 29 April – 1 May: The Australian Chamber Orchestra celebrates its new home with an Opening Festival. Presented over three days, the program features thrilling live concerts, stimulating talks, family shows and digital live streams as well as collaborations with special guests including William Barton, Jimmy Barnes and Jane Campion. Learn more.
- 29 May: Visitors will be able to experience the ACO’s new spaces at Pier 2/3, including the Orchestra’s new concert hall The Neilson, which in the coming months will host a series of intimate performances including an ACO Up Close concert with Principal Cello Timo-Veikko Valve. Learn more.
- 10 Jun: Australian Chamber Orchestra’s ‘Relaxed Performance: Mozart & Britten’ in The Neilson. Learn more.
The Song Company
- 1 May: The Song Company will present UNDERGROUND: Tremors of Earth in the ACO’s new performance space The Neilson. Learn more.
Sydney Theatre Company
- 7 May – 11 June: At Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf Theatres, White Pearl, a co-production with Riverside’s National Theatre of Parramatta runs until 23 April, followed by a new production of Meyne Wyatt’s acclaimed play City of Gold. Learn more.
- 7 May-11 Jun: Sydney Theatre Company’s City of Gold at Wharf 1 Theatre. Learn more.
- 25 Jun-6 Aug: Sydney Theatre Company’s Top Coat at Wharf 1 Theatre. Learn more.
- 21 May: Gondwana Choirs presents Chorister for a Day inviting any child who likes to sing to join the Sydney Children’s Choir rehearsals in the Choirs Studio
- 19 June: Performing choirs will present two concerts in the ACO’s new performance space The Neilson.
Sydney Dance Company and Australian Theatre for Young People
- Sydney Dance Company and Australian Theatre for Young People present an extensive series of classes and workshops in the Wharf Studio and Rebel Theatre.
Biennale of Sydney
- Until 13 Jun: 23rd Biennale of Sydney, rīvus presented at Pier 2/3 at Walsh Bay Arts Precinct including works by Yoan Capote, Clare Milledge, Yuko Mohri, Julie Gough, Erin Coates and Sopolemalama Filipe Toh. Learn more.
- 11-12 Jun: 23rd Biennale of Sydney, rīvus closing weekend celebrations. Learn more.
- 27 May-18 Jun: Vivid Sydney at Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, including a 100m floating Light Walk incorporating the large-scale artwork Ephemeral Oceanic by Atelier Sisu. Learn more.