Carriageworks unveils 2018 Program

Carriageworks Thelma Plum - Solid Ground artist in residence for 2018 - photo by Cole BenettsCarriageworks has unveiled a dynamic program for 2018 spanning contemporary art, dance, performance, music, screen, food and ideas, supporting 690 artists and presenting 70 projects, including 10 world premieres, 17 international works and 17 new Australian commissions.

“We are excited to be bringing an extraordinary Program of international works, new commissions and large scale works to Sydney,” said Carriageworks Director Lisa Havilah. “In 2018 we will continue to increase our investment into our Artistic Program and our support of Australian and international artists. We look forward to welcoming our growing audiences to experience our most ambitious Program to date.”

Highlights of the 2018 program includes a large-scale, site-specific installation and commission by Carriageworks of renowned German artist Katharina Grosse. Presented from 5 January as part of Sydney Festival, The Horse Trotted Another Couple Of Metres, Then It Stopped will be a work of immense scale and kaleidoscopic colour that represents the world premiere of new work by one of the world’s most exciting contemporary artists.

In July, Carriageworks will unveil a major work by leading Japanese contemporary artist Ryoji Ikeda. Marking the artist’s third major installation at Carriageworks, Ikeda will present micro macro – a large scale, immersive sound and light work that sits at the intersection of art and quantum physics.

Rounding out the major contemporary art projects for 2018, Carriageworks will present acclaimed American visual artist Nick Cave when he returns to Carriageworks in November to present Until – the largest scale project that Carriageworks has presented. Until is comprised of thousands of found objects and millions of beads, giving visitors the feeling that they have stepped inside one of Nick Cave’s iconic sound-suits.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras celebrates their 40th Anniversary at Carriageworks from 24 – 25 February, with Black Nulla Cabaret as part of Koori Gras presented by Resident company, Moogahlin Performing Arts; Sissy Ball – a one night only choreographed Vogueing ball with a nod to New York’s underground Ballroom sceneand a series of thought-provoking talks and forums exploring Queer Thinking.

The 21st Biennale of Sydney returns to Carriageworks for the fourth time in 2018 (16 March until 11 June), with a program curated by Mami Kataoka including artists Haegue Yang, Semiconductor, Trinh Thi Nguyen, George Tjungurrayi and Chen Shaoxiong with works chosen to offer a panoramic view of how opposing interpretations can come together in a state of equilibrium.

In March, the biennial Keir Choreographic Award – a national award dedicated to commissioning short works and promoting experimental cross-artform practices in contemporary dance – will return to Carriageworks for its third edition. Selected artists for the 2018 Prize are Amrita Hepi, Melanie Lane, Bhenji Ra, Nana Bilus, Luke George, Lillian Steiner, Prue Lang and Branch Nebula (Lee Wilson and Mirabelle Wouters).

Following the Award presentation, multi-award-winning and internationally respected Brussels-based American choreographer Meg Stuart –  also one of the 2018 international KCA Jury  – will present a solo work over two-nights on 19 and 20 March.

Carriageworks Resident Company – Sydney Chamber Opera will present the world premiere of a new chamber opera that unfolds as a “slow-motion panic attack” based on a real-life phenomenon of the weeks following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Presented from 28 March until 7 April, The Howling Girls is a collaboration between composer Damien Ricketson, director Adena Jacobs and renowned soprano Jane Sheldon. Featuring a chorus of young girls, The Howling Girls is about five teenage girls who presented separately to hospitals in New York with identical symptoms: they couldn’t swallow, and believed that some debris from the destruction had lodged in their throats.

The Sydney Writer’s Festival will be presented at Carriageworks for the first time from 30 April until 6 May as the literary event makes Carriageworks home for the coming two years. The 2018 Festival will bring together writers from across Australia and around the world.

Carriageworks and Resident Company, Sydney Chamber Opera will co-present Resonant Bodies – an international festival of new vocal music that brings together adventurous vocal artists over two days from 31 August until 1 September.

First held in New York City in 2013, the Australian iteration brings together Swedish-Ethiopian composer-improviser Sofia Jernberg, Indonesian experimental vocalist Rully Shabara and luminous New York soprano Ariadne Greif joining SCO favourite Mitchell Riley, with new music royalty Deborah Kayser and local rising star Sonya Holowell for a unique demonstration of the breadth and range of the contemporary voice.

Building on the success of previous editions, Australasia’s international art fair, Sydney Contemporary will return to Carriageworks for its fourth edition on 13 – 16 September featuring leading Australian and international exhibitors complemented by a curated program of talks, performances and events.

Curated by Hetti Perkins and Jonathan Jones, the Black Arts Market returns on 6 – 7 October to present the strength and diversity of south-east Australian Indigenous arts practice. The market attracted over 10,000 visitors in 2016, and will provide a unique opportunity to engage with artists and acquire new works.

Sydney Dance Company and Carriageworks will present the fifth edition of New Breed, commissioning Australia’s most innovative choreographers to create new work with members of the Sydney Dance Company. New Breed will be presented from 29 November until 8 December and is made possible by The Balnaves Foundation.

In December, Ensemble Offspring will present Lone Hemispheres – a program of striking, interdisciplinary music across all forms from seminal chamber music to free improvisation. Based in Sydney, Ensemble Offspring is led by acclaimed percussionist Claire Edwardes and has premiered over 200 works in its 20-year history.

Carriageworks continues its commitment to new work with three major projects in development: A new performance and VR work from Erth directed by internationally renowned Italian director Chiara Guidi; and internationally renowned Australian composer Liza Lim will partner with Sydney Chamber Opera to create a new work.

The Conch from New Zealand will develop a new interpretation of García Lorca’s play The House of Bernada Alba where acclaimed New Zealand Samoan poet Tusiata Avia will transpose Lorca’s indictment of pre-civil-war Spanish society into the tropical context of 1910 Samoa.

In addition, Carriageworks will support artist’s development with masterclasses from Resident companies Erth, Force Majeure, Marrugeku, Moogahlin Performing Arts and Sydney Chamber Opera as well as youth creative development from NIDA, ATYP, and for the local community from contemporary artists completing a 2-year residency at The Clothing Store.

Tickets are now on sale. For more information, and full program, visit: for details.

Image: Thelma Plum – Solid Ground Artist in Residence for 2018 – photo by Cole Benetts