Art and culture

Barangaroo events, public art and cultural activations celebrate innovative works, historical significance and First Nations culture.

Creative responses to Barangaroo’s form, geography, rich history and future inform the Barangaroo art and culture program that focuses on developing a genuine character and identity. The program connects history, First Nations cultural significance and the natural environment with dedicated venues and spaces. It mixes temporary and returning activities with permanent displays and Barangaroo exhibits such as:  

  • digital, landscape-based and guide-led installations and events in outdoor areas 
  • large-scale and fledgling festivals, events, art installations, dance recitals and more in indoor spaces 
  • urban art installations that capture the natural world, Connection to Country, and contemporary lifestyles. 

Some of these can be viewed on the Barangaroo public art trail.

Barangaroo Art Implementation Plan

The Barangaroo Art Implementation Plan 2023, an addendum to the Barangaroo Public Art and Cultural Plan 2015, guides how public art and cultural programs are commissioned and managed at Barangaroo.

Along with the Heritage Interpretation Plan, these Plans aim to:  

  • attract people to Barangaroo through public art and heritage interpretation that contributes to Barangaroo’s evolving character and atmosphere
  • celebrate and reflect the site’s First Nations and waterfront histories  
  • give people an ever-changing program of temporary Barangaroo events and exhibits.

An ongoing commitment

All arts and cultural works are funded through levies collected under Barangaroo’s Development Partner Agreements with Lendlease, Crown and Aqualand. The funding model has allowed Infrastructure NSW to make a continued commitment to art and cultural programs alongside its Development Partners. The approach to art and culture in Barangaroo will never be static; rather, Infrastructure NSW will continue to plan for temporary and permanent artworks throughout Barangaroo, reflecting contemporary times, trends and tastes.  

Creating with the community

The involvement of the arts community is essential, not just to arts and cultural programming, but to the creation of new places, temporary and permanent public Barangaroo exhibits and to arts governance. Barangaroo’s Art and Culture Panel advises on producing and presenting community, creative and civic events and programming. The Panel includes Tom Gellibrand (Chair), Leon Paroissien, Alison Page, Lisa Havilah, Wesley Enoch, Noel Staunton, Annette Pitman and Annie Tennant. 

Recognising First Nations culture  

People are an integral part of the Barangaroo landscape. The site is part of the territory of the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the Traditional Custodians of the Sydney region. 

Barangaroo was a strong female leader at the time of colonisation. She was fiercely protective of her culture, which she recognised was at risk by the arrival of European settlers. Art and cultural programs are one way to honour Barangaroo’s connection to her culture and Country. Already, permanent artworks such as the shellwall and Mermer Waiskeder: Stories of the Moving Tide are part of the precinct’s built form.  

Wellama and Barangaroo Ngangamay bring these stories to Barangaroo’s visitors, residents and workers. Aboriginal Cultural Tours immerse people in the native history of Sydney Harbour and the importance of the land to Australia’s First Nations heritage while the Barangaroo Art Tour allows people to discover the stories behind some of Barangaroo's stunning public art.

Heritage Interpretation Plan

The Heritage Interpretation Plan provides a framework for how the natural and cultural heritage values of the Barangaroo precinct are communicated. The Plan:

  • articulates a storytelling and interpretive vision for the precinct
  • establishes a framework for the development of interpretive projects
  • uses interpretive themes and storylines to create a cohesive, engaging and memorable experience for all visitors to the precinct, through both tangible and intangible elements.

Learn more.