Cockatoo Cars

Ian English

Castle Hill, Australia

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Artist's Description

This is the largest artwork on Cockatoo Island for the Biennale.

The 17th Biennale of Sydney directed by David Elliott and titled THE BEAUTY OF DISTANCE: Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age will showcase new and recent works by Australian and international artists at Sydney’s leading cultural institutions, contemporary art spaces and heritage sites.

In a country that has traditionally regarded distance as a disadvantage, this Biennale will celebrate distance by bringing together art from around the world. This presentation of primordial, timeless and challenging works will express the unique power of art as well as its creative richness. Program highlights include artist talks, performances, forums, film screenings, family events, guided tours and other special events, all FREE to the public.

Cockatoo Island returns as a major exhibition venue in 2010, building on the success of its inaugural use for the 16th Biennale of Sydney (2008). The venue will feature works by approximately 50 artists spread throughout the island’s cavernous structures and open spaces, including many new site-specific works created directly in response to the location.

David Elliott says: “Cockatoo Island is historically significant as both a prison and an industrial powerhouse; it offers a variety and vastness of space, which is a fantastic challenge and privilege for artists. It is one of the unique environments of Sydney and we will be filling it with art.”

Cockatoo Island is the largest island in Sydney Harbour in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Located at the junction of the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers, Cockatoo Island is a former imperial prison, industrial school, reformatory and gaol. It was also the site of one of Australia’s biggest shipyards during the twentieth century. The first of its two dry docks was built by convicts and was completed in 1857. The island’s maritime industrial activity ceased in 1992.
In late March 2005 the island was re-opened to the public for the ‘Cockatoo Island 2005 Festival’ Cockatoo Island Festival. The island is currently managed by the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust 2 which is currently revitalising the island as a landmark harbour attraction, with commercial maritime activity, cultural events and a campsite operating alongside interpretation of the island’s heritage. Today Cockatoo Island retains many remnants of its past. Its prison buildings have been nominated for World Heritage listing, along with other convict sites around Australia. Large workshops, slipways, wharves, residences and other buildings retain the texture of the island’s industrial past.

HDR of 7 images +/- 1 stop and processed with Photomatix Pro

Artwork Comments

  • Bill Wetmore
  • Ian English
  • Anthony Mancuso
  • Ian English
  • Karen  Betts
  • Ian English
  • A-New-Start
  • Ian English
  • David Haworth
  • Ian English
  • Eeva47
  • Ian English
  • AmeliaC
  • Ian English
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