Carriageworks is a contemporary multi-arts centre located in Sydney. Carriageworks is artist led and engages artists and audiences with contemporary ideas and issues. Carriageworks is a cultural facility of the NSW Government and receives support from Arts NSW and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts. The institution has a reputation for presenting large-scale immersive programs.
Carriageworks' Public Space
Location within Sydney
|Location||Redfern, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Type||Contemporary multi-arts including visual arts, dance, performance, music, film, food and design|
The 51-hectare (130-acre) Eveleigh Rail Complex Yards were built on the site between 1880 and 1889, including the heritage-listed Eveleigh Railway Workshops, and the decommissioned Eveleigh Carriage Workshops site, part of which is occupied by Carriageworks. The rail yards contain the history of Australia's major rail network. Train carriages for Sydney's expanding rail network were built and maintained within the building and included the Royal Carriages constructed specifically for the Governor General of Australia and visiting Royalty, the first electric carriage, and the first air-conditioned train in Australia. From 1973 productivity at the site declined due to its inefficient older buildings, restrictive union practices and increased privatization of carriage construction and the site was closed in 1988.
In June 2002, the NSW Ministry for the Arts completed the purchase of the Carriage and Blacksmith Workshops at the Eveleigh Rail Yards site. Soon after, a construction project on the site commenced under the name of Carriageworks. Adaptive reuse of the workshop site began in 2003 with the housing of numerous contemporary arts practitioners, and Carriageworks was officially opened in 2007.
In 2013, over 400,000 people engaged with Carriageworks programs and in 2014 visitation numbers were expected to rise to 550,000. In August 2013, the Carriageworks cultural precinct doubled in size, adding 5,000 square metres (54,000 sq ft) to its existing premises in Sydney's Redfern. Major programs presented at Carriageworks in 2013 included Ryoji Ikeda's Test pattern (No 5) presented in association with Vivid Sydney 2013 attended by over 56,000, FBi Radio's 10th Birthday attended by 8,000 and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia attended by over 35,000. In 2014 Carriageworks presented Christian Boltanski’s Chance, Ganesh Versus The Third Reich by Back to Back Theatre, Tehching Hsieh’s Time Clock Piece, Stones in Her Mouth by Mau and presented by Carriageworks, Concertgebouw Brugge and Tjibaou Cultural Centre, and more.
In 2015 exhibitions included Sydney Buddha by Zhang Huan, 24 Frames Per Second an exhibition of 24 screen-based works of 18 Australian and 6 international artists, Siamani Samoa by Michel Tuffery and the Royal Samoan Police Band, Ryoji Ikeda with Superposition, and Xavier Le Roy's Self Unfinished presented by Carriageworks and Kaldor Public Art Projects.
There are a number of resident organisations, all working within the contemporary arts sector: Erth, Force Majeure, Performance Space, Sydney Chamber Opera, Moogahlin, Felix Media, Stalker and Marrugeku.
Erth have been producing visual theatre since 1990. Complex inflatable worlds are inhabited by stilt walkers, large-scale puppets and flying creatures. Erth tours nationally and internationally to festivals, events and cultural institutions providing theatrical experiences. The Erth Studio Workshop, which is housed at Carriageworks, designs and creates all the puppets, sets, costumes and devices.
The Felix Foundation was set up by film producers John Maynard and Bridget Ikin, to support the development, creation and presentation of significant new moving image projects by artists. Works include Coral, a work for the fulldome screen, by Lynette Wallworth; three multi-screen works Citizen's Band, The Calling, and In the ear of the tyrant by Angelica Mesiti; and the trilogy of adaptations by William Yang, Friends of Dorothy, My generation, and Bloodlinks.
Led by artistic director Kate Champion, Force Majeure produces dance theatre works. Established in 2002, the company is based around artists from varying disciplines who create movement-based theatre. Artists include dancers, actors, writers, visual artists, composers and filmmakers.
Moogahlin Performing Arts is an Aboriginal theatre company based at Carriageworks. Moogahlin works closely with emerging and established Aboriginal theatre practitioners and communities. Moogahlin was formed in Redfern, New South Wales in 2007 by a group of Aboriginal performing artists and community workers in honour of the late Kevin Smith’s request and in memory of the founding members of the Black Theatre.
Performance Space is an organisation for the development and presentation of interdisciplinary arts. Performance Space is a creative space in which to explore and experience new forms, new ideas, and new contexts of interdisciplinary arts. Their artistic focus is on arts informed by performance, which draw influences from across the performing and visual arts. Performance Space encourage art which explores the intersections between artforms, questions assumptions about the relationships between artist and audience, and engages with the concerns of the society.
Sydney Chamber Opera
Established in 2010 by Artistic Director Louis Garrick and Music Director Jack Symonds. Noted for innovative programming, musical rigour and focus on theatre-making, Sydney Chamber Opera makes opera with a 21st-century outlook that appeals to a younger audience. It frequently debuts new productions by up-and-coming Australian composers.
Stalker | Marrugeku
Stalker is an Australian physical theatre company founded in 1989. Stalker has toured outdoor and indoor productions to remote and urban locations across Australia and to Europe, Asia and Latin America. Stalker contributes contemporary physical theatre in Australia across a range of cultural, social and political contexts, regions and nations. Its approach to physical performance draws on contemporary dance, new circus, martial arts, innovative approaches to dramaturgy, and inter-disciplinary and inter-cultural practices and processes. Stalker produces a portfolio of distinct works, ranging from small, mobile street theatre productions to large site specific outdoor work, and includes both intimate and large scale indoor works, as well as a series of on going masterclasses. Stalker produces the works of its Co-artistic directors David Clarkson and Rachael Swain as well as the projects of the intercultural company Marrugeku, creating intercultural performance in indigenous contexts in Broome Western Australia.
Carriageworks Farmers Market
The Carriageworks site is the location for Carriageworks Farmers Market, a weekly farmers' market for over seventy regular stallholders featuring seasonal fresh produce including organic, biodynamic foods from farmers and food producers across rural and regional New South Wales. The Carriageworks Farmers Market originated to provide a neighbourhood market and first commenced trading on Saturday 28 February 2009. The permanent market site is housed in the custom-renovated blacksmith's workshop at the heritage listed Eveleigh Railyards, an inner-city destination that also encompasses Carriageworks, a facility of the Redfern-Waterloo urban renewal project.
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- "Eveleigh Railway Workshops". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
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- Redfernoralhistory.org,. 'Redfern Oral History: Moogahlin Performing Arts'. N.p., 2015. Web. 9 Feb. 2015.
- McCallum, Peter (9 February 2015). "Classical And Opera In 2014: Robertson Settles In As Operatic Highlights Come From Companies Big And Tiny Kj". The Sydney Morning Herald.