18th Sydney Biennale 2012

18th Sydney Biennale 2012

The work of 100 artists and collaborators from over 40 countries comes together for an epic contemporary art experience held in various venues around Sydney for almost three months, most of it FREE.

When: 27 June – 16 September 2012, most venues 7 days a week

Where: various locations around Sydney, visit www.bos18.com

Cost: mostly FREE


We have probably just scratched the surface with our Biennale experience, but we spent a Sunday exploring Cockatoo Island with the kids and some friends and had a great time.

Cockatoo Island is in the middle of Sydney Harbour and is accessible via a FREE Biennale ferry which leaves every half hour on weekends (and every 45 minutes on weekdays).  This in itself was a bit of fun for us tourists.  On first inspection, the queue for the ferry was rather daunting – but we all easily made it on, so don’t be deterred if you arrive and find a massive queue.

The Island has been both a convict prison and dockyard for ship repairs/building in the past.  So there is a combination of old convict buildings and also massive massive industrial warehouses – which in their abandoned state are quite stunning to explore and make an incredible backdrop for the installations = wow factor.

If you are visiting Cockatoo Island be sure to wear your walking shoes as there is a bit of ground to cover (some rather uneven) as well as stairs to climb (there are ramp options too if you have a pram) and the ferry gangplank to negotiate.  There are several cafes/bars located at different points – so a few different options for food if you haven’t packed a picnic.  We happened across the Asahi Super Dry Noodle Bar for our lunch (the dumpling noodle soup was a winner with the kids – they shared one serving between them).  Just across from the Noodle Bar was the Island Bar which had pizzas on its menu.

As for the work on display – most was interactive (a few were to look at only) and the kids loved exploring what was around the next corner.

If you have school aged children there are a couple of things that might be of interest:

  • Kids Audio Tour
  • Kids Trail Tour – ask for a copy at the Information Hub on the island

And for under 3’s on Wednesdays, there is Baby Biennale at Cockatoo Island – you must book in advance via bookings@biennaleofsydney.com.au or 02 8484 8718