The Sydney Opera House opened its new Centre for Creativity to the public today with House Warming, a free and interactive installation from visual artist Rosie Deacon. Delighted adults, children and families explored and contributed to the forest-like environment of the installation, which will evolve as a living site-specific work created by the community until it closes on January 16.
The new purpose-built Centre will significantly increase the volume and breadth of participatory performances, workshops and installations at the Opera House, helping to connect the world-renowned performing arts centre with new audiences on site, in schools, and in homes across Australia and the world. It is one of the final projects in the Opera House’s Decade of Renewal, funded by the NSW Government, and is the first new dedicated programming venue to open at the Opera House in more than 20 years.
“The Centre for Creativity offers programs inspired by the Opera House and all that it does – spanning design, dance, First Nations cultures, engineering, song and storytelling – so that people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can set their creativity free,” said Sydney Opera House Director of Programming Fiona Winning at this morning’s public opening.
“The Centre renews our commitment to the next generation by giving more of this magnificent public building to you – our community. It activates the relationships between artists and audiences, through playful collaboration and imaginative thinking, unlocking the benefits of creativity – which are essential for our collective future,” added Winning.
Highlights of the inaugural program running from January to March include:
- House Warming – a free installation by visual artist Rosie Deacon running January 4 – 16. People of all ages can contribute to the forest-like environment made of colourful, recycled materials. Sessions run between 10 – 3pm each day, as well as evening sessions on 7, 8, 14, 15 of January;
- Hidden House Puppets workshops run by contemporary Tasmanian theatre company Terrapin. During the school holidays, 8-12 year-olds can turn household items into puppets and create new stories together;
- Rain – a mesmerising and sensory experience for babies (babes in arms and crawlers) and their carers that introduces the next generation of audiences to the generosity of rain through sound, touch and performance;
- Afro House – a beginners workshop for ages 15+ from Western Sydney-based hip-hop crew CanYouAfro?, merging street and cultural African dance moves;
- First Nations Design Day – a day-long workshop for ages 15+ created by Opera House Creative Learning consultant, Kamilaroi educator and artist Annie-renae Winters, with collaborators. It includes making, drawing and learning through yarning circles, and natural dyeing with foraged materials.
- Architecture Club – a series of Saturday afternoon workshops for people 18+ who are passionate about design, inspired by the unique genius of Opera House architect Jørn Utzon; and
- A free monthly Draw the House: The Sketchbook Tour for all ages that explores the Opera House and its surrounds through the eyes of contemporary visual artists.
The Centre for Creativity was designed by renowned architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer and built by Taylor Construction. It comprises a larger room that can host groups of 50-60 for workshops and 80-100 people for seated experiences, as well as a second room designed for small group work. It is located in the north-west corner of the ground floor of the Opera House, in what was previously office space, and is accessible through the Western Foyers.
The Centre for Creativity supports the Opera House’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – #4 Quality Education and #10 Reduced Inequalities.
Featured image : Artist Rosie Deacon interacting with children in House Warming, the inaugural installation in the Centre for Creativity. Pic Cassandra Hannagan