This November, Carriageworks and the City of Sydney present HEARD·SYD by American artist Nick Cave, marking the first time the renowned artist has presented a major work in Australia. Presented over two days on Thursday 10 and Saturday 12 November 2016, Nick Cave’s spectacular and seminal work HEARD·SYD – featuring over 60 Sydney-based dancers and musicians bringing to life 30 colourful, life-sized horse-suits – performed across two locations, in the heart of Sydney’s CBD and Carriageworks.

Set to live percussion, HEARD·SYD will disrupt the daily activity of Sydneysiders with an exuberant and surreal explosion of equestrian activity. The life-sized horse suits are constructed from coloured raffia and found materials. Inhabited by two dancers at a time, the soundsuits produce a distinctive sound when activated and over 60 Sydney-based dancers and musicians will have the unique opportunity of working directly with Nick Cave and American choreographer Will Gill to deliver the project.

One of the most important artists of his generation, Cave is best known for his ‘soundsuits’ – intricate sculptures that combine art, fashion, dance and music. Taking inspiration from African ceremonial costumes, Tibetan textiles, and popular culture, both as static sculptures or objects in motion, these works command authority, their unspecified occupants immediately becoming anonymous, androgynous and nationless.

Encouraging an almost pastoral dream-like state, HEARD·SYD is an escapist response to the bustle of the city, its architecture, parks and urban spaces.  It is presented free to the public for each of the three performances.

Cave has reimagined HEARD especially for Sydney, with previous iterations of the project including HEARD·TX in Dallas, Texas (2012), HEARD·NY in Grand Central Terminal, New York (2013), and HEARD·DETROIT in Detroit, Michigan (2015).

“Public art has a wonderful capacity to surprise and inspire passers-by, breaking us out of the hustle and bustle of the daily commute. We’re working with Carriageworks to attract top flight artists who will inspire and start conversations,” said Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

“I was really thinking of getting us back to this dream state, this place where we imagine and think about now and how we exist and function in the world… I think we tend not to take the time out to create that dream space in our heads.” Nick Cave on HEARD, 2013.