Arts and public program

The Barangaroo Public Art and Cultural Plan is the strategic framework that guides the commissioning and management of public art and cultural programming across the precinct.

The Barangaroo Delivery Authority manages the development of Sydney’s western waterfront on behalf of the NSW Government, and is responsible for delivering high quality urban design, public spaces and sustainability.

As part of this remit, the Authority oversees the delivery of public art, cultural activities and public programs within the precinct. Responses to the form, geography, the rich history and future of the Barangaroo site are integral to the design and delivery of the program.

The Barangaroo Public Art and Cultural Plan is the strategic framework for the Authority and its development partners to guide the commissioning and management of public art and cultural programming across the precinct.

It established an Arts and Public Program Panel to provide expert advice on developing the character and identity of the precinct through a range of arts and cultural, civic and community programs.

The Plan, launched in July 2015, relates to 11 hectares of public domain and represents one of Australia’s largest suites of public art and cultural activity. The Plan outlines nine priority public art and cultural programs for delivery by 2020, including a series of cultural activities, Artistic Associate program and civic events.

Funding for the Plan is provided through a levy by the Authority on its development partners, commencing with Lendlease as the developer of the southern financial, retail and dining district.  The levy is set at one per cent of development cost, and can only be used for art and cultural purposes at Barangaroo. Total funding available from the levy will depend on the actual development cost, but is estimated over the life of the Barangaroo project to be a total of some $40 million.

The strategic direction began with the appointment in 2012 of world leading consultancy, AEA Consulting, to undertake a study of cultural development opportunities for Sydney, with recommended options for inclusion at Barangaroo. The direction of the cultural study was guided by a steering group comprising Government and private individuals, and led to a series of recommended options considered by the NSW Premier.  

Gabrielle Trainor AO, Chair of the Barangaroo Delivery Authority’s Arts and Public Program Panel, in launching the Plan, said: “The overall ambition for the Plan is to enrich and enliven the site with iconic works and great cultural activities and that includes temporary art installations and civic events in addition to permanent artworks like this.

"Good public art, whatever the medium – and whether permanent, durational, large scale or almost imperceptible – enriches places for people. Artworks can trigger the imagination, tell a story, make us happy or simply render things beautiful. 

"Barangaroo has a rich and diverse history. The Public Art and Cultural Plan reflects this by bringing together the traditional with the contemporary, Aboriginal tradition with national tradition. Artists are early and indispensable creative contributors to great new places – to the fabric of new office and residential towers, and to new public spaces," Trainor said.  

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