This winter the Queen Victoria Building will open its doors at night for its QVB After Dark series of captivating artistic installations, tours and events.
Central to the event is the Heart of the QVB, an interactive installation created by visual artist ØFFERINGS.
Ghost tours run every Thursday evening, giving visitors a unique insight into the building’s quirky supernatural history.
All this leads up to the major event, QVB After Dark LIVE on 22nd August.
About QVB After Dark
QVB After Dark represents a change in direction for the QVB, towards a more inclusive, connected and creative future – using dramatic arts to welcome new audiences and to humanise the treasured 120-year-old space. Through this activation series QVB will reposition itself as a key player in the after dark activities of Sydney, contributing a daringly beautiful, emotive and culturally considered offering to the CBD precinct.
As part of its first major foray into artistic initiatives; Visual Artist and prominent Sydney performer ØFFERINGS (commonly known as Missy Gilbert) will activate the QVB as a stage.
Gilbert (one half of avant-garde music duo Ginger and the Ghost) stated that the QVB’s rich heritage and relationship with the city of Sydney was the inspiration behind the ambitious project.
“The QVB has an incredible bond with the people who pass through it every day – it has become a living being in itself; the ebbs and flows of those walking through the building to their own rhythm feel like the internal workings of the body,” she said.
“I envisaged the QVB almost as a physical body; the exterior of the building is the flesh, while the internal parts – the walls, columns, and stairs – are the bones.
“We wanted to bring this concept to life in an immersive and participatory event, giving both visitors and retailers the opportunity to create connections and contribute to the overall experience of the QVB as a living, breathing entity.
Central to the event will be the Heart of the QVB, an interactive heart installation running for the month of August. For the first three Thursdays of the month, from 5 – 7pm, visitors will be invited to enter the installation and write their future visions for the QVB on ribbons which will gradually fill the heart. In turn, deepening the connection between the QVB and the community. On 21 August, the heart will be raised to sit inside the ceiling’s dome becoming the beating heart of the QVB and serving as a shrine to the community’s hopes and dreams for the future.
The QVB will also run After Dark tours every Thursday evening for the month of August, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the quirky supernatural history of the building. Guests will hear all about QVB’s resident ghost – Mei Quong Tart – a Chinese-born merchant who opened an elite teahouse in QVB’s inaugural year, but was tragically killed following a botched robbery of his store. The tour will take guests behind the scenes of the building, even onto the roof and into the cool night air.
The team leading this initiative boast a substantial background of cultural and arts experience, from working with Opera Australia to Dark MOFO. QVB Marketing Managers, Robyn Wilson and Clare-Marie Martinez feel confident that the After Dark event will be a welcome addition to Sydney’s night-life this winter.
“Historically, QVB has been very much a daytime destination. Through QVB After Dark, we’re moving away from that perception, while also forging a deeper, more humane connection between the building and all Sydney-siders. Our ideal is to curate a unique offering that this city has never seen before – to make the QVB more relevant in this progressive, modern day,” stated Wilson.
QVB After Dark is the first in a number of new initiatives slated for the next year. A major event – QVB After Dark Live – will be held on Thursday 22 August, offering the public a fully immersive and interactive multi-floor sensory experience – watch this space for more information.