Carriageworks today announced its most ambitious project to date, a major exhibition of work by acclaimed American artist Nick Cave, opening in 2018 and presented free to the public over a six-month period. The exhibition, titled UNTIL, is the result of a new partnership between Carriageworks, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, with the three organisations co-commissioning co-presenting the project following four year’s development by the artist.

One of the most important artists of his generation, Nick Cave (b.1959) is best known for his ‘soundsuits’ – intricate sculptures that combine art, fashion, dance and music. Cave will present these sound-suits for the first time in Australia as part of the HEARD·SYD performances at Carriageworks and in Pitt Street Mall on 10 and 12 November.

UNTIL represents Carriageworks’ most significant contemporary arts presentation ever, spread over 5,000 square metres at the Sydney-based multi-arts institution.  Also marking the artist’s largest project of his career, Cave has created a large-scale installation for UNTIL, comprised of thousands of found objects and millions of beads, giving visitors the feeling that they have stepped inside one of Cave’s iconic sound-suits. The exhibition speaks to the artist’s belief that art invigorates cities, with other highlights including an immersive video installation with rippling water and lifeguard chairs, and Flow Blow, a space in which visitors find themselves awash in a waterfall of wind-blown mylar filaments.

The UNTIL exhibition at Carriageworks will also be used as a performance space throughout the six-month duration, including free events spanning music, theatre and performance, alongside panel discussions and community forums. This program of events will be specially-curated by Carriageworks for the project’s Sydney presentation, based on the engagement of multi-disciplinary artists from the fields of fashion, film, dance, visual arts, theatre and literature, who will be asked to respond to the exhibition.

Nick Cave, who believes in humanity and sees his work relating to empowering people, commented on UNTIL: “I view this work as a theatre set, or an elaborate community forum, as much as a work of sculpture.”

Cave’s UNTIL installation takes viewers on a journey, with visitors entering the exhibition on a mirrored floor beneath a dense sculptural field of spinning lawn ornaments leading up into a cloud suspended from the ceiling that is populated with birds, flowers and black-face lawn jockeys. The journey culminates with a mountainous structure constructed with millions of plastic pony beads. The artist has created a space where kinetics and sumptuous materials are interrupted with stark images of guns, bullets and targets, that position us all as culpable, vulnerable and potentially under attack.

Carriageworks Director Lisa Havilah said: “Carriageworks is honoured to be working with Nick Cave and our international partner institutions to deliver this ambitious project. Carriageworks is a place that engages communities with contemporary ideas and issues through commissioning and presenting work across dance, visual arts, music and performance.  Nick Cave is an artist that is undefinable in the way that he can easily move between these forms, while also creating a work that has a great generosity to other artists and to our communities. UNTIL will provide an opportunity to see ourselves reflected which will be a great gift from Nick Cave to all of us. We look forward to being together inside the brilliantly large and sparkly world that is Nick Cave.”

Nick Cave UNTIL will be presented free to the public, supported by a six-month public program, in 2018.