Nick Cave: HEARD-SYD

Nick Cave HEARDMarking the first time the renowned artist has presented a major work in Australia, Nick Cave’s spectacular and seminal work HEARD·SYD – featuring 60 Sydney-based dancers and musicians inhabiting colourful, life-sized horse-suits – will be performed at Carriageworks this Saturday 12 November 2016.

Set to live music and percussion, HEARD·SYD will disrupt the daily activity of Carriageworks with an exuberant and surreal explosion of equestrian activity. The dynamic, site-specific performance features 30 life-sized horse suits, constructed from coloured raffia and found materials. Inhabited by two dancers at a time, the sound-suits produce a distinctive sound when activated, with 60 Sydney-based dancers and musicians working with Nick Cave to deliver the project.

Prompted by American choreographer William Gill, the colourful horses will shuffle, toss their heads, paw the ground, prance, trot and nuzzle each other, building to a riotous, ritualistic rumpus.

“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.

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. 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.

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.

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).

Nick Cave is an artist, educator and foremost a messenger, working between the visual and performing arts through a wide range of mediums including sculpture, installation, video, sound and performance. A solo exhibition of Cave’s work is currently on view at the Cranbrook Art Museum (2015), in Michigan, US.

Cave will have a solo exhibition at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2016. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at the St. Louis Art Museum (2014-2015), the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (2014) and the Denver Art Museum (2013).

Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Redfern
Event: Saturday 12 November 2016 (10.00am & 12.00pm)
Free entry

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Nick Cave’s HEARD (supplied)